Teachers: Humiliated community
The recent decision of PDP led coalition government in order to exalt the education sector of Jammu and Kashmir by holding the screening test of more than 65000 teachers has invited a solid debate in our society. The education minister Mr Nayeem Akhter has ordered the officials of education department to scrutinise the credentials and evaluate the capability of teachers for giving education sector a new look and an attractive manifestation but while doing so he is instigating the respectable community because his new orders keep dictatorial mind-set more and fervour to do good less. Though the decision seems to be right and honest on the face of it but the way he put this before the society is not suitable for the system because by publicizing such diktats he made “teacher” a scapegoat and dwindled his veneration in the society. So, for his way of work is concerned it will be appropriate to mention that an upstart is always arrogant even though the reforms are always welcome. His orders fumed the teacher community because he wants to evaluate their diligence and intelligence besides the art of teaching after they gave their precious period of their lives in the department. First of all Re T teachers were engaged by the antecedent governments on the basis of some predefined criteria so at this very juncture it is totally hilarious to test their efficiencies. No doubt people are appreciating the move with a great zeal but at the same time they are unaware of some undeniable facts:
(1) Engaging permanent employees was totally banned in our state till 2000 AD.
(2) Our state was financially unsound and was not able to bear the expenses of new regular employees.
(3) The topography of our state is so nerve-wracking that it was difficult for education department to engage a teacher in far flung areas.
(4) Literacy rate was very painful in our state and the dream of universalization of elementary education under gruesome situation was totally traumatic and was very hard to achieve.
(5) During turmoil period most of the schools were severely hit by the militancy related incidents and frequent strike calls, so the attendance was hitting the lowest numbers.
Keeping in view all the above mentioned facts the rulers of this sate formulated such a scheme which not only curbed the rate of unemployment but gave a boost to our ailing education sector, and this scheme got a tag of Rehbar e Taleem scheme.
Universalization of elementary education, which was only a dream in our state, got fulfilled only after this scheme came into effect. So a solid scheme came into effect, under which a highly qualified candidate from a particular area got selected for the pious teaching profession. The selected candidates were forced to receive peanuts(less than a dollar per day) for initial five years; also such teachers gave up crucial period of their lives to this ailing sector. When govt. announced his scheme, many middle class youth embraced it because of many issues. It is a universal fact that a passenger moves on after keeping in mind the direction of his goal (destiny). So it is not the teacher fraternity which must be blamed for any ambiguities in the education department, it was the responsibility of policy makers who formulated it and then acted upon it. Nayeem Akhter’s intentions indicate that he is hell bent upon this very scheme because he wants to degrade the employed teachers recruited under this scheme. If there are some issues in this very scheme which are halting the improvement of education system, definitely needs to be addressed but only after the consultation of various stakeholders of this system.
Teachers have to execute two types of duties in their schools, imparting knowledge to their scholars and to mould their behaviour in a desired manner. But Mr. Akhter seems to be behind the upliftment of former one because he is side-lining the other major and mandatory aspects of education. By education we mean “all round development of a child”, “modification of child’s behaviour”, “to bring out the hidden qualities of a child” and “the knowledge imparted by education constitutes man’s third eye”. An educationist Trow says “education is essentially human development in a controlled environment”. While understanding the above definitions it is crystal and clear that untrained teachers must be made well trained, special training must be imparted to them for a better classwork. Here it would be right to mention that only teachers are not responsible for deteriorating the education sector because education is not a tri polar process but a tetra polar one, which includes student, teacher, parents and the environment of schools and homes. In our state there are countless schools which are devoid of the basic infrastructure which include matting, white boards, aids, buildings etc, so without these things imparting quality education is only a dream.
Mr. Nayeem Akhter is frequently comparing government schools with private ones in terms of quality education but always forget the inadequacy of basic but vial needs for quality education in government run schools. When we compare the curriculum and text books of both private and govt. run schools, text books and curriculum of government run schools is far behind in terms of effectiveness. Parents who admit their wards in private schools always remain vigilant as for as their ward’s education is concerned but parents of government run schools are not showing such vigilance and depict their unbothered nature towards their ward’s education, so criticising only teachers in this mess will be totally injustice with them. Since all teachers are literate and can pass on the knowledge they keep to their students but what lacks there is the absence of best environment, care taking parents, all subjects and effective text contents. Besides this all training of teachers is must because untrained teachers can’t do justice with this profession because teaching is not every body’s cup of tea.
As per the latest orders an Re. T teacher has to pay thousands of rupees to the concerned boards and universities for getting his credentials verified, this is totally unfair because he has already paid colossal amounts while appearing in the examinations of these respective institutions. What was the need of verifying the qualifications issued by the JKBOSE, Kashmir University, IGNOU, MANUU and NIELIT, when these institutes have been owned and recognised by our government? Certain questions arise here, either these institutions are unrecognised before the government or our officials have a doubt regarding the education being imparted there and the procedures of their examinations. Mr. Akhter should not turn a blind eye towards a lot of unrecognised institutions working outside the state ( e.g PRIEST) whose pass outs have already been recruited through SSRB in various departments. Nowadays the pass outs of our esteemed Kashmir University are not able to get themselves selected for teaching at +2 levels as contractual lecturers, what is the reason, is education minister thinking upon this matter. At last it is of great magnitude to mention that when there will be same facilities in private and government run institutes and if the yield is below the level of private ones, then government owned teacher is responsible otherwise blaming only teacher is the incompetence of those who think so.
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