PART II: Education and Educator: Issues and Solutions

Curriculum is a vital component of education that plays a crucial role in remodelling and reshaping the attitude of kids in a school
PART II: Education and Educator: Issues and Solutions
"Govt of India has made it mandatory for government teachers to pursue BEd, for graduate teachers and DEd. for teachers who have been selected on 12th basis for which deadline was set as year 2019. In this connection the department of education in our state has got the untrained govt teachers registered with IGNOU in 2018."Mubashir Khan/ GK File

Teaching has been an age old practice and teachers have evolved since ages. Teachers have earned a lot of respect globally by contributing in nation building and reformation of the society by imparting education to the masses at large.

A lot has been achieved by the teachers and they have been rewarded time to time by government and non government agencies for their contribution. Yet we find a lot of teachers become complacent when it comes to perform their duties.

Even after being paid hefty salary a greater percentage of teaching community shows unprofessional and unethical attitude in performing their duties. This has a direct bearing on the performance of the students resulting in poor performance in their examination.

Govt of India has made it mandatory for government teachers to pursue BEd, for graduate teachers and DEd. for teachers who have been selected on 12th basis for which deadline was set as year 2019. In this connection the department of education in our state has got the untrained govt teachers registered with IGNOU in 2018.

Around twenty thousand teachers shall be trained for which they have paid the fee on their own as well. The agony is that these teachers are still waiting for their study centers to be allotted as the session is about to expire and examination for BEd shall commence in the month of December 2018.

This callous attitude of the department shows their non-seriousness towards their teaching fraternity, the biggest human resource in government department. By imparting training to these teachers, department can help them in getting acquainted with new tools, techniques and teaching methodology, hence can help them in educating school kids and improving their academic output.

The curriculum at any given instance is a vital component of education and it plays an crucial rule in remodeling and reshaping the attitude of kids in school. It prepares student to face the outer world and challenges that it throws on them to excel in different fields. A lot has been done in drafting the curriculum and time to time revised syllabus has been put forth to meet the present needs in imparting education. Having said that and adding on to it, still government run schools are lagging behind when it comes to innovation.

To start with, let’s compare kindergarten in private schools with government schools. We see a lot of difference. Kindergartens in private school have outshined because of the policy of imparting fundamental education for three years before admitting them to the class first. In comparison government school have kindergarten, but it lasts only for one year to get acquainted with class room environment and learn the basics.

The children need to spent a lot of time in classrooms that we deny them hence their foundation is mostly weak. Once these kids enter into class first, they encounter much difficult syllabus and they are not able to read, write and learn it easily. With successive class it becomes more difficult for them, thus leading to dismal performance in examination. The thumb rule is that a student should be able to read and write at first instance. The moment they succeed in doing so, success follows.

Factors beyond school boundary also have a great impact on the psyche and overall personality of students. Society plays a crucial role in improving environment of schools. Community intervention in school affairs acts as the check and balance thus incurs a sense of accountability.

In this respect department of school education has made it mandatory to constitute village education committee (VECs) and empowered them to monitor the functioning of schools. Meetings on monthly basis are advised and issues discussed and deliberated upon to overcome the shortcomings, if any.

The role of community is shrinking. VECs also don’t appear usually for meetings on the context of their routine schedule. This has led to shrinking enrollment in government because of lack of their involvement at village level.

The present trend shows that most of the students in government schools come from backward class and economically marginalized sections of the society. This section feels underprivileged and insecure and this leads to a virtual class struggle and hence segregates the society into underprivileged and privileged ones. Privileged ones prefers private schools,even when government provides almost everything free for students.

The National Policy on Education, 1986 and the Programme of Action 1992 gives the basic policy framework for education, emphasizing on correcting the existing inequalities. It stresses on reducing dropout rates, improving learning achievements, and expand access to students who have not had an easy opportunity to be part of the general system.

Highlighting issues are fundamental in nature and sets basis for resolving the issues that hamper progress in any society. Government can take a lot of measures to revamp the education system. Improvement in infrastructure in the way of providing play fields, electricity, computers and internet connection at elementary level can boost the prospects in taking a leap forward. In terms of school buildings we should believe in quality rather than quantity.

Even a small school building if beautified and made presentable can compete with a much bigger school building owed by private players in education sector. So, the presentation plays vital part in attracting students from different strata of society.

Effective Govt control and capable administration on its part is a vital factor to the education system. Initiatives need to be taken so as to realize the students to take education seriously. The govt school teachers show a lack of interest in students due to lack of control mechanism. To make teachers accountable special teams can be constituted to make surprise visits to schools at zonal level.

This can lead to develop certain amount of sense of professionalism among teachers and thus helping in streamlining education in govt schools. While doing so, teachers too should be relieved from the duties other than teaching.

Teachers are overburdened to perform census duties off and on, household survey, election duty, booth level officials, election duties, official documentation and clerical work, Aadhar enrollment and last but not the least serving mid day meals in schools. At times it becomes frustrating for teachers and if relieved from such tasks they can perform their duties efficiently.

This will surly help improve the quality of education in government schools. MDM can be outsourced to NGOs or Anganwari centers within the vicinities. Specialized training programmers apart from routine training should be imparted to teachers so that they remain updated.

To tackle the dropout rate at primary level and elevate the enrollment rate govt have started smart class rooms on trial basis in some schools. It in fact is a noble idea and is a working model. But keeping it limited to certain schools and only for KG class is not helping in the long run. It is seen that after getting good response from students most of the students after passing the class migrate to private schools.

This can be stopped by extending the smart classroom concept to class first. KG classes should segregate into three classes and for a period of three years before getting admission to class first. This way we can produce students that will be well versed with the basic concepts. At primary level focus should be on language subjects, and basic concepts in mathematics and environmental science.

This can help students in preparing themselves for more complex classes thereafter. The marks percentage in written examination should be reduced to minimum level. The department should work on alternatives such oral tests, role plays, debates, public speaking, interest based experimentation drawing and painting. This will help in overall personality development of students.

The dropout and the poor students must be provided with cash incentives and scholarships as they come from poor economic background and lack of resources act as the constraint for them. Parents today not only want education for their children but quality education and marketable education. These needs must be addressed to boost the children to learn enthusiastically.

Education has always been priority of nations. Nothing is impossible for determined souls. Govt can take cue and get inspired by the model of Delhi govt schools. The pass percentage of Delhi Govt schools touched 90.64 percent this year, even as private schools of the city lagged behind at 88.35 percent. Over 8,000 classrooms including refurbished ones have been built.

Teachers get specialized training, private schools not allowed to hike fee, Rs 10 lakh loan for higher education. The administration in our state is tirelessly working to bring education sector up to the level where competence becomes hallmark of students in government schools.

Education sector being the priority sector should be supported in terms of the budgetary allocation and timely fund release so that it can meet the ever increasing demand and competition by the private players in education sector.

We need education system that targets our efforts on most vulnerable children or we will further exacerbate existing inequalities by leaving them behind – inequalities that will undermine education’s contribution to healthier and more peaceful societies.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

Greater Kashmir