Make merit count
The recent government decision to go ahead with the screening test of RT teachers is a welcome step.
The government had to take this decision to implement the court directions and therefore the education department had no option but to follow the court orders. Let us all pray that in future only a few of them are identified as ineligible for the post of teachers. Even though there is no harm if all the RT teachers are put to screening test to prove their mettle. The test may further authenticate and endorse their strength of knowledge which is very much required for proving to be a good teacher.
Some politicians of Kashmir valley are in the habit of politicizing every issue. The former CM should not politicize this issue being a very delicate matter as the future of young Kashmiri students is involved. If something wrong has happened in the past, we must try to correct it and not to regularize it. If the education minister sincerely wants to reform the education department by taking various measures to improve the system we all must render support to him as it is in the larger interest of the society. Instead making personal attacks on the education minister, the former CM must revisit the records of his six years of rule which could be described as the darkest period of governance history of Kashmir in the 21st century. Since he could not deliver the goods during his tenure it is better for him not to raise hue and cry and dub others as inefficient. Born and brought up in the environment of the most civilized people, obtaining a quality school and graduate education from the premier school of the country and abroad he needs to prove himself as high quality politician than others and avoid indulging in mud slinging. There must be some truth in few cases if not with all. It has been seen that the students studying in government schools do not perform as good as compared to the students of few private public schools so far as the matriculation result is concerned though the teachers of the government schools are highly qualified and well paid. For the information of the education minister it is mostly the Government science and mathematics teachers of higher secondary schools and colleges who are really the back bone of the coaching centers in the Srinagar district. They teach the students who have to appear for the common entrance and other competitive tests, after school and college hours and are therefore the real assets of the society.
The teachers of the government high and higher secondary schools who have come through PSC and recruitment board are the best and are capable to impart the high quality education to their students. The minister has to find out the reasons as to why the deterioration in our education system has crept in. He must also fix the tenure of postings for all teachers and heads of schools and colleges so that they are posted in all the institutions by rotation in urban as well as in the rural areas. He has to make the education secretaries and directors responsible to ensure that no junior person is heading any college or high or higher secondary schools. The education minister can fulfill this objective only if he succeeds in keeping education department above political interferences and does not surrender to the political pressures so far as the postings and transfers are concerned.
It is the need of the hour to bring some reforms in the present education system and recruitment policy which has unfortunately derailed so that the future of our young generation is secured. The civil society has already endorsed the decision of the government. Let's all support it.
Abdul Rashid Khan is IGP(rtd)