Accountability gives better results
Amibika Sharma

With the students of private schools performing much better than their counterparts in government schools in various board examinations, the quality of education imparted at the latter has become an important issue.

Students clash; cops called

Minor skirmishes between students on a university campus are not uncommon. However, major clashes between groups of students over petty matters — like the one which took place on HAU premises on Friday last — cannot be brushed aside.

  • Foreign tours resented





Accountability gives better results
Amibika Sharma

With the students of private schools performing much better than their counterparts in government schools in various board examinations, the quality of education imparted at the latter has become an important issue.

An analysis of the merit list of various board classes shows the dominance of private school students. The merit list of class eight of the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education showed that as against two positions gained by government school children, other eight were bagged by the candidates from private schools. Similarly, in plus one, science, as against two positions of government schools other eight belonged to private school students. The class 10 results also favoured the private educational institutes where only three positions were bagged by the government schools.

The government schools, however, made a clean sweep in plus two arts, where all 10 students made it to the merit list. The science stream results on the other hand were abysmally poor for the students of government school.

Defending the poor results a section of teachers however said: "The government schools provide mass education and not selective education, unlike the private institutes. We cannot refuse admission even to a student who has fared very badly while the private educational institutes admit only the bright students. This also adversely affects the desirable student-teacher ratio, the class strength at times runs into hundreds."

"Some private schools further manipulate the merit by indulging in mass copying at their respective schools. This enables them to fare better than government schools" opined Dr Narinder Sharma.

A recent order of the State High Court directing the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education not to establish examination centres in private schools would help curb this menace. The board has been directed to frame rules to ensure the implementation of these directions.

In a contrast to the well qualified staff who procure appointment through a screening test, the teachers appointed in private educational institutes are not adequately trained. They however manage to perform better as their managements make them accountable. Any laxity or poor results can terminate their services thus making them work hard with the students. Regular house tests further maintain a check on the performance of the students in private schools.

With little accountability in the government run schools the teachers often do little to maintain a year long check on the students. The director secondary education, Ms Anita Rao, while agreeing to the fact that there was some laxity on part of the teachers said: "We are now streamlining the system by fixing accountability. A teacher whose result was poor in the first year was given a warning followed by an adverse entry in the Annual Confidential Report in the second year. Strict action would be taken if the results were poor for a third time in a row. This included putting on hold the step-up increments."

She however defended these schools and noted: "Private schools do not admit weak students and even those who perform badly are made to appear privately. The government schools on the other hand admit students of all calibres. Given the high strength the performance of our schools is satisfactory."

"With coaching becoming an integral part of the education system today the performance of the students receives a further impetus from it" opines another teacher. He adds: "It has become a norm to enrol oneself in private schools while a student joins extensive coaching classes through the year."

Students today prefer to take admission in private schools even if they offer little in terms of a qualified staff and other facilities. This speaks volume about the declining standards of state's educational institutes. A move to ensure that the employees of the state government admitted their children in state run schools was mooted by the government some time back. It found few takers as the quality of education in the state is not rated very high.

In spite of having procured a high literacy rate of 77.13 per cent its quality of education has been rated only next to Bihar in a recent survey conducted by the NCERT. It is time the state government gave more thought to improving the standard of education rather than priding itself on having achieved a high literacy percentage. It is the quality and not quantity which will bring about a positive change in the state's educational rating. 



Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar

Students clash; cops called

Minor skirmishes between students on a university campus are not uncommon. However, major clashes between groups of students over petty matters — like the one which took place on HAU premises on Friday last — cannot be brushed aside.

Faculty members say that apart from underlining the lack of authorities’ control, such incidents of unruly and violent behavior at the slightest pretext also put focus on the fast depleting tolerance levels among students.

It was just that while a movie was in progress at the Veterinary College auditorium, a student present inside the hall opened the door for his friends. Another student watching the movie objected to this, which led to an altercation.

After the film was over, a group of Agriculture Engineering students, armed with hockey sticks and rods, attacked the Arrivals Hostel and thrashed the Veterinary College students present there.

A little later, Veterinary College students and other inmates of the Arrivals Hostel raided the Calash Hostel. In the meantime, police personnel of the HAU police post reached there. Six students were injured in the clash, while several others were rounded up by the police.

While the university administration has maintained that strict action would be taken against the culprits, effective long-term measures are needed to be taken to restore an academic atmosphere on the campus.

Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar

Foreign tours resented

There is resentment among faculty members of the engineering departments over the criteria adopted for selecting teachers to attend conferences or training sessions under a World Bank-aided project.

The Departments of Computer Science and Engineering, Printing Technology and Environmental Science and Engineering were included in the World Bank Technical Education Quality Improvement Programmed.

Teachers resent that a teacher of the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering has been given the green signal for a foreign trip even though he did not fulfill the eligibility criteria. They allege that while doing so, the authorities concerned ignored the claims of several eligible aspirants in this regard.

Earlier, the selection of a husband-wife team of teachers belonging to the same department for a foreign visit for poster presentation had sparked a row.

Owing to such instances, eyebrows are also being raised over the manner in which the funds provided to the university under the World Bank project are being utilized.

— contributed by Sunlit Dhawan





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