Education: Treat malady, not symptoms

When attempts are insincere, results can’t be pleasing.
Education: Treat malady, not symptoms
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When attempts are insincere, results can't be pleasing. If hypocrisy guides the framing and implementation of a policy, however impressive it may appear on paper, it definitely will end up in disappointment.  Having been left unattended for more than two decades, the malady in the department has reached metastasis and needs radical treatment. The decay that set in 1990s is still not coming to a stop.

The vagueness of the recent utterances of the higher ups adds to the frustration of parents. No one is against giving teaching community a dignified and honourable position in the social order but clamouring from rooftops that teachers will be included in the state's rule book (clause 28) to share privileges that are available to other officers of different departments is not going to change the ground reality. It tantamount to presenting gift to a person for not doing what he was supposed to do. Instead of this, why not take concrete steps to bring the system back on rails by removing the rot from its interiors.

On paper there are a number of schemes, created and planned to improve the standard of education but unfortunately they have not borne fruit. Policies and schemes are not bad, their implementation and execution lack result-oriented ingredient. They have now turned out to be valid excuses for staging protest demonstrations by thousands of persons working under ReT, SSA, RMSA and other schemes. And never has any protest for lack of facilities in such schools, or substandard (if there is any) educational environment in those schools. Most of the government schools are running short of students and the enrolment is abysmally low. Government will save people a lot of bother if only this important sector is improved to a level where parents are convinced to send their wards to government schools. Several simple steps need to be taken that could make a beginning.

The first and the foremost is that anybody in education department, whether teacher, non-teaching staffer – clerk, officer, director, secretary or concerned Minister, must enrol their children or grandchildren in government schools. Refusals must be taken as acknowledgment of guilt and dishonesty towards the department, and the violator must be expelled from the service for fraud. Once those who devise policies for poor and downtrodden (as they are the overwhelming majority in government schools now), have their own children in private educational institutions; can they take the job seriously.

The second measure must be revision of the syllabus and bringing it at par with international standards. This could be a revolutionary leap and is likely to herd the lost students back to the government schools. One must admit that there is no dearth of talent in the teaching staff in government schools. Barring a handful of teachers who were blue-eyed boys (and girls) of politicians or officers, majority of the teachers in government sector are properly qualified and can deliver if they are tasked with taking the initiative to its fruition.

The international standard curriculum must be complimented with required infrastructurso that the blend brings forth the intended results. It will not only bring all children at par on quality education but also will churn out the human resource that could shape the destiny of this state. It would also help in dispensing social justice as all children will get the same education. Otherwise a brilliant student in a government school gets a beating from a dullard who is pushed up in a private school through currency notes.

Lastly, the teachers must be taken care of properly by the state in terms of pay and perks as by the time above cited suggestions are executed, the teaching community definitely would have inscribed their place in the hearts of the masses, and they would be a dignified lot.

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