20 NGOs roped in to improve school education, teacher training

Greater Kashmir

The school education department has roped in 20 non-governmental organizations to improve academic standards in schools and seek their assistance in teacher training programs.

The NGOs working at state level, zonal and district levels in schools will also be assisting in improving teaching learning methods. As per an official document, the department has signed MoUs with several organizations to assist officers at school, zonal and district level and improve their leadership skills.

Among the NGOs roped in include UNICEF, Pratham education foundation, Lend a Hand India, Chinar International, UNISED, Akshaya Patra, Save the Children, J&K Association of Social Workers and Rotary India Literacy Mission.

The move comes in the wake of poor learning level of students in government run schools as depicted by various national level surveys like Annual State Education Report (ASER), National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA) and National Achievement Survey (NAS) conducted by NCERT over the years.

In the wake of the poor performance of students, the union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had asked the state government to engage some NGOs to improve the learning outcome levels among students in government schools.

Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), G N Itoo said these NGOs will help the department through various interventions like holding training programmes under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). “They use various interventions and help in academics, trainings and improving learning outcomes as well,” Itoo said, adding some NGOs functioning through directorate also helped during CM’s super 50 coaching and winter tutorials.

He said recently secretary MHRD had invited NGOs of national and international repute to hold teacher training programmes in the department. “Involvement of NGOs is nothing new but now the scale of involvement has been increased,” he said.

Pratham Education Foundation had signed a MoU with the education department and is assisting in improving learning outcomes among school children. The NGO is working in 10 districts of Kashmir division with focus on teacher training, resource support with 70 Pratham resource persons and community mobilization in 450 villages with 1600 volunteers.

The department has also engaged NGOs for imparting leadership skills to principals, headmasters, CEOs and ZEOs, and conducting training sessions at state level. “We have signed MoU with some NGOs for community mobilization and improve learning outcome in students,” the official said.

Another NGO Akshaya Patra has also approached the government for outsourcing of mid-day meals scheme in the school education department. “The NGO has identified two districts, Jammu and Samba, while as proposal for other districts is under consideration,” the official said.

Save the Children NGO is already working with the state on child protection and providing training to district officials and master trainers.