RETHINK ON WINTER SCHOOLING WELCOMED
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Dec 26: Stakeholders in school education in the valley have welcomed the government’s decision to rethink the much-hyped winter schooling programme in view of the inclement weather conditions and its adverse fallout on health of school-goers.
“Better late than never, the government should order an immediate rollback of the ill-conceived decision which has exposed students and teachers to hardships primarily due to the lack of infrastructure in the 800 high and higher secondary schools,” said Nazir Ahmad, a parent from Rawalpora, two of whose children are brave biting sub-zero chill to reach their school these days.
Welcoming the rethink, a senior official in the School Education Department pleading anonymity said the winter schooling decision had created “a confusion of sorts” in that the teachers of primary and middle classes of high and higher secondary schools had been spared of the extreme bother their colleagues in higher classes (9th to 12th) of same institutions have to face. “To make it worse, the authorities in most schools have adopted pick and choose method to include or exclude teachers on one pretext or other,” he alleged.
Asserting that winter schooling decision was ‘fraught with administrative problems too’, senior master Ali Muhammad said teachers in the Education Department were not entitled to any earned leave in lieu of the winter vacations. Now, in view of the winter schooling, teachers in high and higher secondary schools will fall under a different category with separate set of service rules. “How the department will compartmentalize its teaching staff as a consequence can be problematic,” he opined, adding there were no takers for the government’s view that winter schooling was aimed at compensating the academic loss caused by summer unrest.
Undoubtedly, the abysmal lack of infrastructure to match winter schooling could be the chief reason for revisiting the decision. “Most schools across the valley are ill-equipped to conduct classes in freezing sub-zero temperatures. Inadequate water and power supply, broken window panes and furniture, and absence of seating, matting and toilet facilities make the conditions in them horrible. Oblivious of the time required to provide for all these, the government took the decision just a few days ahead of commencement of the winter schooling for some exogenous considerations,” a parent pleading anonymity alleged.
Noted educationist, Dr A G Madhosh, welcomed the rethink on the issue. Talking to Greater Kashmir, he said the decision to “enforce” winter schooling, in the first place, was “political and devoid of any academic wisdom.” Incidentally, he has been nominated as a member of the recently constituted Higher Education Council and is also working on what he termed as Dr AGM’s model for winter schooling.
“It (winter schooling) could be a good decision provided the required facilities and infrastructure are put in place months ahead of the harsh season,” Dr Madhosh argued.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 26 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 26 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 27 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
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