Overnight Change In Education Policy Bizarre: JKEC

A teacher records his lesson at a school in Srinagar to stream it online to his students | KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Education Chamber (JKEC), an amalgam of all leading private school associations from both Kashmir and Jammu divisions, Wednesday termed the “unilateral” government order to restrict the timing of online classes as bizarre, devoid of any logic, and detrimental for the future of students.

The Chamber, in a statement, raised many questions on how an education policy was changed within 24 hours. “No education policy is changed in 24 hours. It concerns future of society and every policy is framed in the backdrop of an Evidence Based Approach,” said a spokesperson of Chamber. “But we doubt they studied any model or consulted any expert, educationist or academician. There is no clarity on what basis they have framed this policy.”

The Chamber said that the concerned department has neither studied how world over online classes are managed and neither have they watched ground situation here. “On one hand the classes have been limited but on the other hand education department has not reduced the syllabus. So limited classes in such a situation means limited learning for students. It is deprivation of quality education to students here particularly when we compare it to All India level,” said a spokesperson the Chamber. “In other states the students would complete full syllabus and our students will have to be content with learning few chapters only.”

“Now if they have to force schools to work according to the new plan, then reduce the syllabus and screen time will be automatically reduced,” he further added.

The Chamber also questioned the way this policy was framed and announced. “The education department announced that they brought on board all stakeholders, but private schools being a major stakeholder was never even consulted once. We want to know which stakeholder did they talk to and who were the experts for this policy,” said the spokesperson. “All school bodies are part of the Chamber and till date no one from Chamber was consulted. The government has again treated this sensitive policy through administrative angle only.”

The Chamber suggested the government to address the issues of the education sector in toto rather than in piecemeal. “Teachers are in stress, schools are closing down, students have issues, the entire sector is on the verge of closure. Let the government take all stakeholders on board and resolve the major issues facing the education sector. That will benefit students, parents, teachers and schools,” he said. “As of now, these devoid-of-logic policies seem to be an exercise to manage public perception and not helping students.”

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