Supervision, the weakest link
School heads need to show some courage
Sudarshan K. Kapur

The number of schools with imposing buildings and spacious grounds, libraries stacked with new and unread books, laboratories properly equipped, and qualified and trained staff is huge. Five years ago, the scene was dismal.


Supervision, the weakest link
School heads need to show some courage
Sudarshan K. Kapur

The low quality of education that our children get in schools is due to a chain of weak links in the system

The low quality of education that our children get in schools is due to a chain of weak links in the system.

The number of schools with imposing buildings and spacious grounds, libraries stacked with new and unread books, laboratories properly equipped, and qualified and trained staff is huge. Five years ago, the scene was dismal. Now there are more facilities than were ever available to schoolchildren. Yet the standard of education has gone down.

The so-called progressive schools are also in this league. They who promise quality education dish out a poor quality of students, who have also been put on heavy doses of alien culture and alien social mores, cutting at the very roots of Indianness.

Imposing such a system on the hapless child is a cruel joke on him or her. This cannot be dismissed lightly, as a reflection of socio-economic conditions of present day life. The system is being encouraged and strengthened by vested interests that want more robots than thinking humans.

The low quality of education that our children get in schools, both private and public, is due to a chain of weak links in the system. When I met some of the school heads recently, they identified these weak links as ineffective teaching, non-teaching, incompetent teachers who have inadequate knowledge of the subject, sub-standard textbooks, parallel textbooks and relying on poorly prepared guides, heavy curriculum, difficult syllabi, examination-ridden system, use of unfair means gaining acceptance, parents and society who want marks even at the cost of fairness, and an indifferent, irresponsible and unaccountable administration. They counted everything except what could have reflected on their own functioning.

They all agreed that the main task of the school head was to supervise the academic work of teachers and students, improve teaching and learning, coordinate efforts of the teacher to achieve this end, make the best use of resources and evaluate the performance of teachers and students. Someone also suggested that a head was also supposed to act as a link between teachers and the administration, community and society.

No one said sustaining excellence was also one of his or her objectives. When asked how much time did they spend on educational supervision for which they were paid, most had no answer. The maximum one devoted was 20 per cent of the time. The remaining time was spent on non-academic or superfluous matters.

Some of them rued that they had been reduced to the level of dignified clerks alone. The NCERT and National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) could have undertaken some studies on the time devoted to educational supervision. Supervision is since long missing from schools and is the weakest link in the education system today.

Only a month ago, this writer asked a group of block education and district education officers how many of them had studied or even seen the prescribed curriculum and the syllabi published by their own department. Only 3 out of 50 had read the document. These were the officials who would supervise the performance of primary and secondary school teachers. Teaching and learning cannot be improved upon without effective supervision, for which the prescribed curriculum is a basic document which a school head or supervisor should always carry.

This writer has yet to come across a brilliant student aspiring to become an engineer or doctor who does not go for private tuition or extra coaching outside the school. Recently, engineering aspirants and their parents raised a ruckus in the media when colleges laid a condition that 60 per cent marks in the basic qualifying examination were essential to be eligible for admission to the IITs. This amply proves the ineffectiveness of classroom teaching in schools. Educational supervision is lacking all around, but it is almost non-existent in schools.

To make the national system of education work, the National Policy on Education, 1986, as modified in 1992, gave a slogan that read: “All teachers should teach and all students study.” Have we done anything in the past 13 years to ensure it?

The heads should have the courage to appraise the performance of teachers with a positive attitude towards solving academic and administrative problems. The machinery for supervision is there, but it now needs an overhaul.

Campus Notes

Punjabi University, Patiala
On terrorism by religious groups

Lamenting that religion had started playing an increasing role in politics even in nation states with a history of liberal democratic and socialist ideologies, Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, said “expansion of war and violent conflict is one of the most serious challenges to democratic principle and peace, progress and prosperity of society”.

The former Director of Defence Strategy and Analysis delivered the Col Harpartap Singh Memorial Lecture, organised by the Department of Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala, on Wednesday.

Presenting his paper on “Clash of civilisations, religious terrorism and Sikh values”, he said during the past three decades religious groups had come to constitute about two-third of the militant/terrorist entities in the world. Presiding over the lecture, Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill condemned the abuse of religion for creating conflict.

PAU, Ludhiana
Money needed to power projects

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has submitted to the state government the proposal for a Rs 20-crore multi-disciplinary research project for scientist-industry-farmer linkages aimed at national food security, state farmers nutritional and economic security and environmental conservation.

The five-year project profile has 10-key research components with an outlay of Rs 6.62 crore. These projects relate to developing ethanol-producing sugarcane and maize varieties, pilot plant for bio-diesel production, research on aromatic, medicinal and spices, pilot facilities for fruit and vegetable processing, cultivation of durum wheat for export and pasta making, development of health foods and drinks, research on fruits and vegetables for processing and rearing of buffaloes for meat processing.

The Director of Research, Dr B. S. Dhillon, said: “There are 60-odd strategic research projects for which PAU has sought the state’s financial intervention.

— Contributed by Rubinder Gill and Amarjit Thind




Armed Force

Indian Navy, Post Box No. 04, R.K. Puram P.O. (Main), New Delhi 110066

SSC Officers in Naval Architecture Cadre - August 2006
(At Naval Academy (NAVAC), INS Zamorin, Ezhimala, Kerala)

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian men; BE / BTech (Naval Architecture / Mechanical / Aeronautical / Civil / Metallurgy, 60%); DoB: 02 August ’81 – 01 August ’85.

Selection: SSB Interviews & Medical exam.

Application Form: Apply in prescribed format & and send through ordinary mail to the above address. Superscribe "Application for SSC NA Cadre – Aug 2006 Course. Qualification`85`85 Stream`85`85`85 Percentage % `85`85"

Details: Employment News (17-23 December 2005) / website.

Application Deadline: 16 January 2006

Indian Air Force, No 1 Airmen Selection Centre, 48, Mansfield Road, Ambala Cantt 133001 (Har)

Airman in Group ‘Y’, Group ‘X’ (Technical), IAF (Security), IAF (Police) Trades
(at Theh Kanjla, C-PYTE Camp, Kapurthala, Punjab)

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian males from designated districts of Punjab
For IAF (S)/ IAF (P) & Group ‘Y’ Trades: Matric / 10+2 (50%) with pass marks in English. DoB: 01 July ’87 – 31 March ‘90
For Group ‘X’ Technical Trades: 10+2 (Maths, Physics & English; 50%) OR Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical / Electrical / Electronics / Automobile / Computer Science / Instrumentation Technology) DoB: 01 July ’85 – 31 March ‘89
Selection: Physical Fitness Test, Written Exam, Interview & Medical Exam.

Application Form: Attend Rally (05-12 January 2006) at the above address with required attested documents.

Details: Contact Commanding Officer at the above address.

Indian Coast Guard, Post Box No. 127, Noida 201301 (UP)

Recruitment of Assistant Commandants (02/2006 Batch) in:
1) General Duty
2) General Duty (Pilot)
3) General Duty (CPL Holders)
4) Technical Branches

Eligibility: For 1: Bachelor’s Degree (Maths & Physics in 10+2).
For 2: Bachelor’s Degree (Physics & Maths), PABT pass.
For 3: 10+2, CPL holder
For 4: BE / BTech in Naval Architecture / Marine / Mechanical / Electrical / Telecommunication & Electronics / Design / Production / Aeronautical / Control Engineering Or equivalent degree recognised by Institute of Engineers (IE) Or Marine Engineering graduates from IMET, Kolkata

Or Certificate of Competency as 1st Class Engineer of Motorship / Final examination certificate from College of Marine Engineering under D/o Surface Transport

Or A & B of IE

DoB: For 1: 01 July ‘81 - 30 June ‘85
For 2 & 3:
01 July ‘79 - 30 June ‘87
For 4: 01 July ‘76 - 30 June ‘85.

Selection: Tests, Interview

Application Form: Send in prescribed format to the above address or download from website.

Details: Employment News (17-23 December 2005)/ Website

Application Deadline: 16 January 2006


IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400076 (Mah)

1) Research Fellowships
2) Summer Internships

Eligibility: For 1: BTech / BE / MA / MCom / MSc / ME / MTech / MBA / MBBS or equivalent
For 2: Pre-final year BTech / BE students.

Selection: Academic records and Interview.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 24 February 2006

RL Institute of Nautical Sciences, TVR Nagar, Aruppukottai Road, Madurai 625022 (TN)

BS in Marine Engineering (4-year, residential)
BS in Nautical Technology (3-year, residential & 1-year at sea)
(In collaboration with BITS, Pilani)

Selection: Aptitude Test

Details: Website


Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Gandhinagar 382009 (Guj)

BTech (Information & Communication Technology)

Eligibility: 10+2 (Physics, Chemistry, Maths)

Selection: AIEEE 2006 (30 April 2006)

Details: Website


Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad 500007 (AP)

1) PG Certificate in Teaching of English
2) PG Diploma in Teaching of Spanish
3) MPhil in French, German, Russian & Spanish (Regular Mode)
4) MPhil in Russian & Spanish (Distance Mode)
5) PhD in Arabic, French, German, Russian & Spanish (Regular Mode)
6) PhD in Russian (Distance Mode)

Application Form: Send Rs 300/- by DD favouring "Registrar, CIEFL, Hyderabad-500007" payable at Hyderabad to the Editor at above address.

Application Deadline: 23 December 2005


Delhi High Court, Sher Shah Road, New Delhi 110003

Delhi Higher Judicial Service Examination 2006

Eligibility: Indian, advocate in practice for at least 7 years.
Age: 35 – 45 years (on 1 January 2006)

Selection: Written Test (12 March 2006), Interview / Viva-voce

Application Form: Send Rs 1000/- by DD favouring "Registrar General, Delhi High Court, New Delhi", payable at New Delhi with a stamped (Rs 30/-) self addressed envelope (32 cm x 25 cm) to the Deputy Registrar (Vig.) at the above address.

Application Deadline: 31 January 2006


National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad 500030 (AP) (M/o Agriculture, GoI)

PG Programme in Agri-Warehousing & Supply-Chain Mgmt (1-year)

Eligibility: Bachelor’s Degree in (Agriculture & allied subjects with four year degree course from Agricultural universities recognised by ICAR/ UGC, 50%).

Selection: Computer Based Objective Test.

Application Form: Send Rs 1000/- by DD favouring "MANAGE, Hyderabad" to the Principal Co-ordinator (AWASCM) at the above address or download from website.

Details: Employment News (17-23 December 2005) / website.

Application Deadline: 6 January 2006

Dr. B R Ambedkar Open University & Apollo Hospitals Educational & Research Foundation, C/o Lifetime WellnessRx. International Ltd., 34 Sai Enclave, Avenue 1, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034 (AP)

PG Programme (1-year; Distance):
1) Preventive & Promotive Healthcare
2) PG Diploma in Holistic Health
3) Wellness Mgmt

Eligibility: For 1: Bachelor’s Degree in (Medicine / Psychology / Nutrition & Health Science)
For 2: Degree in (Medicine, Paramedicine & Indian Medicine)
For 2: Degree / Diploma

Application Form: Send request for free prospects to Prof. Kennedy, Director (AHERF) to the above address

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 6 January 2006

Maths & Stats

Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak (Har)

MPhil Course in Mathematics

Selection: Entrance Test: 30 December 2005

Application Form: Send via registered post Rs. 450/- by DD favouring the "Finance Officer, M D University, Rohtak" payable at Rohtak (SBI Code No. 4734) to the Registrar (Attention: Publication Cell) at the above address

Details: Prospectus

Application Deadline: 27 December 2005


Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, National Model Centre for Occupational Health Services, Tiruchirappalli 620014 (TN)

PG Certificate Course in Industrial Health (3-month, FT)

Eligibility: Doctors / Factory Medical Officers.

Application Form & Details: Employment News (17 - 23 December 2005) / Website

Application Deadline: 30 January 2006

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029

Entrance Exam for MBBS Course – August 2006

Eligibility: 10+2 (Physics, Chemistry, Biology & English, 60%). Age: 17 years (on 31 December 2006)

Exam: 1 June 2006.

Application Form: Send Rs. 550/- by DD favouring "Director, AIIMS, New Delhi", payable at SBI (Branch Code 7687) to Assistant Controller of Examinations, at above address by 17 February 2006. Superscribe "Request for Application form for MBBS Entrance Exam 2006" on envelope & on top of the request letter. Write your address with Pin Code in capital letters. Also available at designated SBI branches.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 24 February 2006

National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, P O Manovikasnagar, Secunderabad 500009 (AP) (M/o of SJ & E, GoI)

MPhil in Rehabilitation Psychology (2-year)
(In affiliation with Osmania University, Recognized by the RCI)

Eligibility: MA / MSc in Psychology; (55%)

Selection: Entrance Exam, GD & Interview: 30 January 2006

Application Form: Send 450/- by DD favouring "Director, NIMH, Secunderabad" to the Asst Admin Officer (T & P) at the above address.

Details: Employment News (17-23 December’05) / Website.

Application Deadline: 30 December 2005


Department Of Biotechnology (DBT), Block - 2 CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi - 110 003 (GoI, M/o Science & Technology)

Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) - 2005-06

Purpose: To identify and nurture outstanding young scientists with innovative ideas who wish to pursue research in frontier areas of biotechnology.

The award: consists of financial support for a project besides a fellowship (Rs 25000 per month). Awardees who are not regularly employed can be attached to a senior scientist (Mentor) in a University, Research Institute, Medical / Agriculture / Veterinary College, or any other reputed institute, provided the mentor agrees to provide laboratory space and other facilities.

Fellowships: Rs.1 lakh per annum (for awardees who are regularly employed)

Application: Send 3 copies of your application in the prescribed format with the required enclosures to Dr. T. Madhan Mohan, Director at the above address.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 13 January 2006.

Sciences: Physical

Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (NRSA), D/o Space, 4 Kalidas Road, Dehra-Dun 248001 (Uttar) (GoI) or

Remote Sensing & GIS – Mapping & Monitoring of Natural Recourses
Geoinformatics: Technology & Application

Eligibility & other Details: Employment News (10-16 December 2005) / Website.

Application Deadline: 31 January 2006

Sports & Leisure

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 11

Astrology Course: Jyotish Alankar (1-year/ Part Time)

Application Form: Available at Bhavan’s office till 23 December ‘05

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 26 December 2005

Teaching & Education

Maharshi Dayanand University, Directorate of Distance Education Rohtak 124001 (Har)

B Ed (2-year Correspondence)

Eligibility: Bachelor’s / Master’s degree (45%), in-service regular school teachers only.

Selection: Entrance Test

Application Form: Send Rs 450/- by DD favouring "Finance Officer, M D University, Rohtak" payable at State Bank of India, MD University Branch (Code No 4734) to the Deputy Registrar, Publication Cell at the above address.

Application Deadline: 10 January 2006


Distance Education

Maharshi Dayanand University, Directorate of Distance Education, Rohtak 124001 (Har)

1) MCA (3-year/ Lateral entry in year 2/ year 3)

2) MBA (2-year)

3) MSc (Computer Science; 2-year/ Lateral entry in year 2)

4) APGDCA (1-year)

5) BCA (3-year)

Eligibility: For 1 - 4: Bachelor’s degree, For 5: 10+2.

Application Form: Send For 1 & 2: Rs 350/- and For 3, 4 & 5: Rs 150/- by DD favouring "Finance Officer, MDU", payable at Rohtak at the above address. Available with the Deputy Registrar, Publication Cell at the above address OR download from the website. Also available at DDE counter & study centres.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 28 February 2006

— Pervin