Governor N N Vohra reviewed the functioning of School Education department at civil secretariat here in a meeting which was attended by Parvez Dewan, Advisor to Governor; B R Sharma, Chief Secretary; B B Vyas, Financial Commissioner Planning and Development; Shaleen Kabra, Secretary School Education; N K Choudhary, Finance Secretary; Dr Mandeep K Bhandari, Secretary Health and Medical Education besides Saurabh Bhagat, Secretary CAPD.
The Governor was informed that 28.49 lakh students are presently enrolled in 29292 schools in the State, of whom 16.68 lakh are enrolled in 24000 Government schools. The Governor directed Secretary School Education to critically identify and devote sustained attention to improve the quality of school education to ensure that learning for students is made interesting and meaningful.
Vohra was informed that the salaries due to ReT teachers have been paid up to January, 2016 and provision is now available to fully meet the State share.
The Governor directed the Chief Secretary to take up the matter with the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, for ensuring timely availability of central share under SSA and RMSA to enable the School Education department to ensure that all teachers are paid salaries timely, every month, during the coming financial year.
Secretary School Education informed that all ReT teachers will be provided 5-day refresher training, for which a special module has been developed, through master trainers of Colleges of Education at Srinagar and Jammu.
The Governor directed Kabra to identify the number of schools for which the construction of buildings is at an advanced stage so that focused priority could be given for completion of such buildings instead of thinly spreading the available resources.
He directed urgent action to ensure completion of all government buildings within approved cost and funds which are allocated for the purpose by the Government and directed Chief Secretary to set up a committee chaired by Financial Commissioner Planning, comprising concerned Administrative Secretaries and engineers, to examine all issues relating to design, specifications, functional planning, cost estimates etc. and evolve practical recommendation to ensure that time and cost overruns in the construction of government building is not allowed to take place.
Financial Commissioner, Planning and Development was assigned the responsibility of coordinating further action in this regard and ensure that requisite funds are made available to the School Education department for buildings which are identified for completion on priority basis.
The Governor also directed Secretary School Education to take necessary steps for time bound construction of 68 girls' hostels which are envisaged to be constructed in blocks of the State in the educationally backward areas.
He directed that the exercise to look into the requirement of funds for the completion of buildings, provision of furniture and text books etc. should be completed by 7 March 2016 by the Planning department so that adequate provisions are accordingly made in the next year's plan to meet all possible funding requirements of School Education department.
Governor laid special stress on providing adequate opportunities to the teaching faculty to enhance their competence and directed that all elementary teachers, numbering about 90,000 should be given refresher trainings, relevant to their teaching curriculum, and also provided foundation course in computers to encourage increased usage of IT and e-learning in teaching practices.
Taking note of the fact that the department has more than 22000 untrained teachers, he directed that, in future, only graduate teachers with requisite teacher training should be inducted into the department.
Also, in view of the deficiency of Science and Mathematics teachers, he directed the department to reserve certain percentage of posts for these two streams while making fresh recruitments.
Reviewing Mid-day Meal scheme for providing nutritious food to children, he directed that in Jammu division too, ration should be made available from the nearest depot so that the school teachers need not travel afar for this purpose.
The Governor also called for giving a special impetus to physical education and sports in Schools.