Admitting the continuous poor performance of the school education department, Minister for education e Saturday said the annual budget to the tune of Rs 6000 crore which the government was allocating every year has failed to produce concrete results.
"We are trying to improve. It is not possible for any officer or minister to make changes overnight," he said addressing a day along Education Conclave which was organized by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) at SKICC here.
As per the minister the latest surveys conducted on school education in the state have painted grim picture.
"As per the survey, learning levels are unbecoming as only 40 percent of 8th standard can read the text of 2nd class."
He said one Government Primary school as per norms should have five classrooms and six teachers.
"However, a fraud has been committed in the name of education wherein the schools were set in one room with no other facilities. Then the motive was not to give quality education but construct buildings and create jobs only," he said.
He said the department has taken several measures to improve the academic standards in government schools from the past one year.
The minister termed the winter coaching and CM's super 50 programme a success story of the department saying that the initiative broke the trend of keeping schools closed during winters.
"1.65 lac students took coaching in government schools. Around 25 students who attended coaching classes at Hyderpora School under CM's super 50 initiative got selected qualified the JEE exams," he claimed.
He termed rationalization of schools a popular decision with people demanding more such schools to be clubbed together. "Employment of improved teaching methods has led to the increase in the enrolment in government schools and the students of these schools can now compete with their counterparts from prestigious private educational institutions," he said.
The Minister said the government is mulling to establish two Cluster Universities one each in Jammu and Srinagar to open more avenues for higher education in the state.
"Start of evening classes at Kashmir University has absorbed 1500 new students who could have otherwise gone outside for pursuing the similar degrees. We are planning to introduce evening classes in Amar Singh College, SP Colleges, Bemina Degree College and other colleges of the state as well," he said, adding that the move will have have spillover effect on local economy.
He said the department has declared 2016 as the "Year of Expression" and the schools are witnessing the results. "When students learn to ask things, it will bring revolution," he said, adding that the biggest change will come when the mindset of people will change from pessimism to optimism.
Earlier in his welcome address, Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Dr Shah Faesal said the department has taken several initiatives.
"Under rationalization and merger of schools we should ensure better utilization of resources, teachers and Infrastructure in schools," he said.
DSEK asked CEOs and ZEOs to behave properly with the school heads during their inspections to any of the schools. "Don't behave rudely with the school staff or the school head in presence of the other staff members."
The event was attended by all the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) and Principal and Headmasters of the Higher secondary and High Schools across valley.