The government run schools in the valleyare performingpoorly in comparison to privately owned schools despite the high investments and better salaries offered by the government.The private schools perform much better than government schoolsin every aspect, be it results, punctuality of teachers and students or infrastructure. The task of a modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.
Of late, a lot has been proclaimed about improving the educational qualityin the state and a number of centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) have been launched as well. However, these innovative schemes have hardly shown any positive results. Instead, age old teaching practices and habits continue to erode our educational sectorand soon our government run schools are likely to face zeroenrolment. The centrally sponsored schemes like SSA for Universalization of Elementary Education, RMSA for Universalization of Secondary Education, IEDSS for differently abled children including launching of RTE that aims at providing education to all children up to 14 years, were meant for attaining quality education. However, instead of being productive and helping our educational sector flourish, they have become a cause of worry.Thepeople incharge of these government run institutions defend the poor performance of their schools by passing the blame on poor infrastructure, lack of subject experts and unofficial deputations of teachers. These reasons have no validity. The authorities areinvesting a lot of funds to provide trainings to the teachersso that each can master their concerned subjects. Even then, more than 50% teachers employed in government schools prefer to send their children to private schools for education.
Is the public school system heading towardsirrelevance? What is causing this growing dissent towards government run schools? Why are more and more parents switching over to privately owned schools? Why are private schools better than government run schools? These are some serious questions that we need to find the solutions to. One of the main reasons behind the popularity of private schools may bethat theteachers in these schools are more dedicated, hardworking and most importantly, accountable.Even though the pay at these schools is far less than what a government employed teacher earns, a private school teacher still providesbetter quality of education.
It is possible to blame the depleting learning environment in government run schoolson certain external factors as well. For example, the disadvantaged demographic that government schools cater to or the no-detention policy they have to strictly adhere to.But these factors still cannot be held completely responsible for the pathetic condition of these schools.
We need academic monitoring rather than monitoring of infrastructure and schemes. We need to invest in competency or learning assessments of every child, class and school and track and monitor these overtime,not as a measure of the childs ability but as a measure of the teachers and the principals capability.
The most important thing our education system needs today is dedication. Our education system needs internal governance. It needs accountability. Unlikeprivate schools, in the government school system it is next to impossible to fire a teacher based on poor performance of the students. Onealsocannotpenalize the absentees.Similarly, one isnt rewarded for consistently putting in more effort to solve these problems and ensuring that kids learn. Salaries arent linked to an individuals work output. Once you have a government job, you know you will never be terminated till you retire.The government needs to strengthen the very base of the educational sector. This requires starting at the very bottom. The no-detention policy for classes I-VIII may also need to be rethought. In order to save the public education sector, a strong political will is needed along with mass participation.
Here are some suggestions that should be implemented to improve our public education sector:
A tangible elementary education policy needs to be evolved in government run schools. Primary school is the gate way to all possible improvement. It is a fact that the foundation of a childs education is laid at this stage. Thus, this requires special attention.
Along with primary education, middle schools should also be given attention. Schools should evaluate their performance from time to time and try to improve upon it as well.
The staffing pattern should be maintained according to the subject offered. Teachers with masters in a certain subject should only be concerned with teaching that particular subject.High school students should be offered proper counselling so that they choose the right stream in their higher secondary school.
The Headmaster, Asst. Headmaster, Teacher In charge and the rest of the staff should perform their duties with dedication. By doing so, a positive learning atmosphere will automatically be developed. Schools that perform well should be rewarded. This will motivate both the students and the teachers to perform well.
A separate Academic cell that looks after all academic matters and timely monitoring with periodical supervision of poor performing schoolsshould be brought into existence.
Holding teachers accountable for poor performances of schools and imposing suitable penalties will be a big step towards improving the performance of the government run schools.
There is every possibility of eradicating the rot ailing government run educational institutions if allthe stakeholders toilhard and work with sincerity and dedication. After all, where there is a will there is a way.
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