School is the first place where children are exposed to knowledge seeking. It is from here that children get to know about numerous fields of education. This contributes to cultivation in thought process. That means, education imparted in schools plays a very important role in inculcating the various aspects of thought process – Creativity, Rationality and Critical aptitude. So, to raise the quality of school education by improving the attitudes, and by enhancing skills of teachers, various educational commissions and policies have forwarded recommendations in which NPE-1986 suggested to establish State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) in each province of the country. On this recommendation, SCERT has been established to improve quality of school education. But, unfortunately some parts of the nation remain without SCERT in which J&K is one.
Keeping the significance of SCERT in view, J&K government has decided now to establish SCERT on the pattern of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT- A National Apex Academic Authority) to assist and advise the administration in implementing policies and programmes for human resource development for which Administrative Council has already given its approval to establish JK-SCERT by merging two SIE’s of Jammu and Kashmir.
As we know almost every state of India has its own SCERT which are working to supervise and to improve their standards of education, training and research aspects. These SCERTs are working to empower nation builders who will ensure that every school going ward shall receive learning that helps him/her to be happy, responsible, healthy and become a productive citizens In the same way, JK-SCERT will also look after various aspects of curriculum development, research, teachers education, health and physical education, guidance and counseling, and inclusive and special education to improve over all its school education system. Besides that, SCERT will revisit various policy parameters which are mainly concerned with teacher’s education (pre-service and in-service) and will conduct and promote Educational Researches in the field of School Education and Teacher Education. JK-SCERT will also introduce uniformity in certain respects despite different academic calendars being followed in sub-tropical and temperate zones of J&K.
JK-SCERT will facilitate the School Education Department to train in-service teachers through various professional trainings, induction courses, capacity building programmes, contentment enrichment and contemporary trends and techniques to bring quality control in education. It will also supervise various aspects of health and physical education, curriculum development, guidance and counseling and special and inclusive education in order to bring holistic development of the child. To offer help at the grassroots stage, SCERT will operate via the prevailing District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIETS), which have been under its administrative management. According to National Education Policy-2020, SCERT will also develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through wide consultations with all stakeholders which will lead a “Change Management Process”.
Besides the above mentioned purposes and determinations, JK-SCERT will also implement special educational projects, contact courses for teachers’ professional development, supervise working of the teacher-training colleges, research and adult and non-formal education programme. Besides that, Council has been envisaged to encounter the challenges in teachers’ education arising from the recent longitudinal and numerical expansion of schooling facilities at elementary and secondary levels along with corresponding skill enhancement of teachers through proper orientation and training.
In a nutshell, the work of SCERT will cover the entire spectrum of school education in order to transform and to bring it up to high standard. To make the council operational, JKBOSE Chairman has been assigned the charge of Director JK-SCERT, as an interim measure by the Administrative Council.
To conclude, I must say that education is the main weapon which enhances the human capital, helps humans to liberate and helps humans being humans. To bring quality in education and to make a futuristic educational system JK-SCERT has a significant role to play. It has to carry out all those activities as equivalent of NCERT for the qualitative improvement of education in J&K. These activities include workshops, seminars, trainings, refresher courses, comprehensive teacher empowerment programmes, and researches. It will be assigned with planning, implementation and evaluation of all academic programs from primary to secondary levels. We hope JK-SCERT will revitalize and transform the school education system so that our educational is more productive.
Mehraj ud Din Bhat is Research Scholar Department of Education University of Kashmir