It is time to overhaul the whole system
ACADEMICS BY DR SHABANA ASLAM
What I’m discussing here today are some of the loopholes present in the decades-old education system. The first and the foremost problem in our education system is the location of educational institutions. Most of the schools in the valley are located in areas where ordinarily there is no need. Except for the main city, almost all the schools in the rural and suburban areas are located far away from the main road where the connectivity of transport is completely lacking. Their surroundings are extremely filthy, and hygiene is completely lacking. Students studying in such schools are placed at a greater health risk.
Another problem is the up-gradation of schools. A school initially started as a middle school, with a small building and a smaller compound area, is all of a sudden upgraded to the level of a secondary school without an adequate infrastructure, laboratory facilities etc. There are no classrooms, laboratories, libraries, playgrounds, washrooms, etc., available in these schools, which are actually the basic requirements for any educational institution. There are also no staff rooms available in most of the educational institutions. And if there are any, they are no better than scrap rooms or kitchen stores. Teachers sit on the floor over a mat or sheet bought from their own money.
Most of the up-graded institutions lack adequate staff. They are run by contractual teachers and lecturers only. Where there is a requirement of four lecturers in a particular stream, one or two are provided. It then becomes difficult for the teacher to provide quality education to students.
One more difficulty found with our system is the posting of teachers/lecturers to the faraway places. The school timing is so inconvenient that even after starting as early as possible, he/she cannot reach the school in time. Morning timing can work best only in those schools where at least 90% of the staff members are locals. Plus, the amount and the type of traffic plying on our roads have added more to the woes of these poor teachers. It becomes extremely difficult for them to reach their concerned offices in time.
A big problem encountered is the promotion of teachers based on the age and not on the merit and capabilities. Based on the number of years a particular teacher has spent in the department, he/she is promoted to a higher level. When a professional graduate teacher spends quite good years in the department, he/she is elevated to the Master grade and then ultimately heads a primary or middle school. Likewise, when a particular Post-graduate teacher is only a few years away from the retirement, he/she is promoted to the level of a lecturer or a principal, depending upon the situation. If promotions are due to them, let them be. But why are others made to suffer. When such teachers are promoted as principals, they accept it as the last favour from the concerned department and they try to spend their tenure as smoothly as possible. Whatever challenging comes to them, they turn a blind eye towards that. Recent appointments made by Public Service Commission (PSC), mostly contain Ph. D holders, M. Phil’s, NET/SET qualified candidates, etc who find it hard to tow the orthodox line adopted by elder generation, leading, often to, acrimony. The old stock loses nothing but the new entrants lose zeal and hope of change. In most of the up-graded higher secondary schools, the newly appointed lecturers are forced to teach 9th and 10th classes which is totally against the rules and regulations governing the PSC-recruited lectures. They don’t use even this much of common sense that there are ‘general-line’ teachers, recruited by SSRB, who are meant to teach classes up to the secondary level. In this regard, the government should follow the Kashmir University, where the promotions of teachers are based on the performance and excellence, in addition to the possession of higher degrees of qualification. No teacher can head any department unless he/she is equally or more qualified than the other faculty members. No teacher is promoted merely on the basis of age and time, but on the basis of qualification and publications. An assistant professor is promoted to associate professor on the basis of excellence and the latter to Professor again on the basis of excellence and number of publications. There is a separate set of rules for the promotion of those teachers who are less qualified than the other faculty members. No Ph. D holder is made to work under a non-Ph. D head. As against that, in school education department, most of the principals are simple PG’s and the lecturers working under them, mostly Ph. D’s, M. Phil’s, NET/SET qualified candidates. The promotion door should not be open to one and all but some evaluation system should be developed, on the basis of which a particular teacher will be promoted according to his or her performance. There should be training programmes so as to train them to handle the administrative positions. I suggest service rules guide should be explained to each and every Principal right at the time of promotion.
The system needs an overhaul as a new breed of scholars has entered the department and they should get what they deserve. If work is worship, let them do it with dignity.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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