Towards quality education
Take short and long term measures and see the effect
PEERZADA GULAM RASOOL
The news stories carried by different newspapers (and especially by GK) for the past two months paint a shocking picture of the educational scenario in J&K in general and the valley in particular. The Annual Status of Educational Report (Rural 2011), which was released on 7th June 2012 by Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University Prof. Talat Ahmad, has shown the pathetic condition of Government schools across the Kashmir valley.
The report reveals that only 22.5% of children studying in 5th primary can do division. The report further says that only 23.5% of children in class III (3rd primary) can read words but cannot read class Ist text. Only 17.5% can read class 2nd level text. The report further reveals that 88% students of class 5th enrolled in Government schools across the Kashmir valley cannot do division. The statistical figures regarding the academic scenario puts a big question mark on the performance of our teachers working in government schools who are always on the roads. It is clear from the statistical figures of the report that our teachers have not been able to deliver to achieve the minimum levels of learning at different stages as has been fixed by the National Curriculum Framework 2005. The data shows that the Education Department across the Kashmir valley was in a state of gradual destruction. If such a rate of destruction continues the day is not far away when the society may put a request to the Government to lock government schools and boost the private sector.
The present Secretary to Government Education Department and the present Director School Education Kashmir has a very uphill task to put breaks on the educational deterioration which they inherited from their predecessors. These two top brass bureaucrats have to act fast; otherwise it will be too late to put the Education Department back on the right track. They have to take many measures –short term and long term. The main objective of these measures must be aimed at achieving Quality Education which is still a distant dream in our society.
It is very difficult to identify short term measures. The researches and surveys conducted by many International/National/State level organisations reveal the interference of Trade Unionism (outside their role) in the administrative and academic matters which needs to be curbed. Similarly specific jobs for specific persons/ institutions should be allotted for achieving and ensuring work culture in an orderly manner. In this context we may cite the example of the functioning of cultural and monitoring wings at provincial and district levels. The main function of these wings so far is clerical in nature that can be easily handled by the ministerial staff of DSEK and CEO offices. We have staff starved schools in rural areas and schools saturated with teachers in urban areas. We have 26 cultural and monitoring wings of such type at district and provincial level. There are two centrally sponsored flagship programmes in vogue (SSA/RMSA). In both the schemes there is no mention for creation of such wings. Even New National Policy on Education 1986 with its program of Action 1992 has not advocated for such creations. It is just some years back a vested interest group of teachers involved trade unionists and managed a simple administrative order for creation of these wings by misleading the top administrative hierarchy and got themselves adjusted in DSEKs and CEO offices to serve their malicious designs. At this moment these 26 wings are being run by more than 300 teachers at the cost of education of poor and innocent students enrolled in Government schools due to their poor economic status. The services of these qualified Lecturers/Masters/Teachers are meant for teaching and not for doing clerical jobs. We have the schools with deficient staff where the services of these qualified Lecturers/Masters/Teachers can be best utilized for which they have been appointed in the government services.
For monitoring and organizing of academic and cultural activities, the job needs to be entrusted to DIETs (District Institutes of Education and Training) where we have qualified and experienced lecturers and teachers , then HOD’s (of Higher Secondary Principal rank) and every DIET is headed by a Principal equal to the rank of Chief Education Officer. At provincial level this job should be entrusted to SIE where we have Research Officers, Field Advisors equal to the rank of Chief Education Officer and the institute is headed by Joint Director Trainings. These are the academic institutions responsible for looking after the scholastic and co-scholastic areas of our educational system. These institutions are to be empowered and made functional. By taking this small corrective measure we can channelize the services of near about 300 lecturers, masters/ teachers in schools where students are waiting for quality education. We have already an army of teachers engaged as CRP’s, ZRP’s, DRP’s. And by involving more teachers in clerical jobs in the so called cultural and monitoring wings we are axing the future of our younger generation.
There are other short term measures which includes adherence to transfer policy and sustained academic monitoring of schools by the Teacher Education Institutions i.e. (Block resource centres, DIET’s and SIE).We can also evolve a mechanism of Academic Audit for every academic session from upper primary level to Senior Secondary level on sample basis in each zone to assess the level of learning as a corrective measure.
The recommendations of the Village Education Committees/Zonal Educational Committees should be a strong indicator for adjudging the annual teacher awards. This step will ensure the Community participation for improvement in quality education. This will also make community aware and teachers accountable. The trade unions should not be given any role in this process.
The Chief Minister, who is also in charge of school education department, should go through the reports and surveys regarding the worrying condition of school education and take necessary steps to save the future of the younger generation.
(Peerzada Gulam Rasool can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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