Mohammad Iqbal Bhat
Public schools of Jammu and Kashmir fail to compete with the private sector establishments in the field of education in the state. Public schools are targeted for poor performance, poor enrolment and substandard education. The state is striving hard to achieve the quality output.
Many efforts are in vogue and plentiful measures have been taken in the past to achieve the foreseen end. Still the desirable goal is yet to be achieved. The results are such that forces the state to review its homework again and again.
Many innovative measures like clubbing of schools, winter tutorials and super fifty have been introduced to rejuvenate the Public Education sector but the desired out could not be attained.
Hindrances in the achievement of the foreseen goals can be many and these must not act as an eternal barrier in the achievement of ends.
“Whatever it takes” is an attitude among the teachers working in the Public education sector to achieve the desirable out.
The biggest slipup would be if we blame the students, their background, laziness and their potential for poor results. Students are never to be blamed. The central part is to be played by the teachers and it is only the teachers who can aid in the achievement of the foreseen goals.
Let them do whatever it takes to turn young lives around. It is the teacher who can rescue the student and make him/her compete with the students fetching instructions in the private establishments.
The teachers must relish the challenges instead of blaming the system and the setting. Let we realize that we can be much good, and destiny of our troubled schools gets changed the time the teachers realised it.
Education and learning must be admired part of culture. The central focus of our society and the government must be the public schools and sustained efforts are to be made for efficient monitoring and supervision.
One more concern that needs to be checked is that persons of elite calibre and potential with sound academic and professional qualification must be engaged in the teaching profession.
Teaching is a noble art, and it is not everybody’s cup of tea. We need high quality teachers with compassion and highest intrinsic motivation for the teaching profession.
Experimentation and participation may be new and fashionable, but they can be detrimental for the teaching and learning process.
In this regard, I would like to highlight the entry of non-governmental organisations in the public schools. The experts in these NGOs are not more intelligent or more professional than those working in the public schools.
The measures being adopted by these NGOs more often underestimate the learning potentials of our students and their teaching and learning activities are typically governed by loud articulation, singing and dancing.
Justice is not being done with the Pupils with learning difficulties. They need to be patiently brought up to the average level of their classmates by teachers and assistants who give them the extra attention and support they need to catch up.
For this, we need special schools with teaching faculty who are well versed in the special education. Until special schools are established the need can be facilitated by the appointment of special educators in normal schools.
Community participation in the school education is an important factor. The same is recognised by the government and measures taken in this behalf are ostentatious that is the establishment of School Management Committees in schools of all levels.
All schools in Kashmir division has established school management committees but the role of these committees is questionable. The actual community participation is missing on ground zero and the roles have only been assigned on papers, not in actual practice on ground zero.
A good chunk of Education volunteers/EGS has been elevated as RehbarTaleem Teachers and thereafter regularised as General Line Teachers. It is pertinent to mention that these EGS Volunteers were mostly elementary pass, and distant learners.
In order to make these teachers more professional, a comprehensive professional development programme needs to be designed separately for such teachers alongside with the normal teacher training programmes/capacity building programme.
The Indian Education Commission of 1964-66, maintained that, “Destiny of India is being shaped in her classrooms”. In order to achieve success in different spheres, the prerequisite is, “attainment of success in the Public Schools.”
Author is a Research Officer at DIET Kupwara