Tribune News Service
Jammu, July 5
The dismal performance of government schools in Classes X and XII examinations in the past five years, conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE), serves as an eye-opener on fault lines in the state’s impoverished education sector.
It also poses a serious question mark on the efficacy of Centrally sponsored schemes wherein the Centre has pumped in crores to improve education standards in the state over the years.
Sources said the department had begun the exercise to gather information on all poor-performing government schools.“A detailed study is being conducted on the performance of teachers and lecturers concerned. We have sought complete details about the postings of teachers and lecturers, where the board results have remained zero to 20 per cent, during the past five years to see whether they are serious about their jobs or there are other reasons to the problem,” a source said.
There are schools where teachers outnumber students while other schools face shortage of manpower. “We have started a rationalisation process to streamline the staff strength in all schools,” the source said.
Official sources cited many ills plaguing this vital sector and called for “immediate and focused” attention to bring in education reforms. A source said, “The Education Department is gradually being converted into a transfer industry with least attention being paid on imparting quality education among children.”
“Over the years, the Education Department has lost its focus and direction. Political and bureaucratic interference in transfers and attachments of teachers have turned the things from bad to worse. Children, who are the real stakeholders, have always figured at the end of the priority list of the political leadership and babus,” a source said.
Secondly, the appointment of teachers under the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) scheme has now become debatable.
“We have around 55,000 ReT teachers in the department and they have been appointed on habitation basis. The appointments should have, at least, been made at the panchayat level to have more competent persons in the department,” the source said.
“Had the government made serious efforts to implement this scheme, it would have yielded good results,” he added.
The state has 24,265 government schools with sanctioned teacher strength of 1.43 lakh teachers. The government annually spends over Rs 5,400 crore on school education, but the performance of these schools has remained far below the schools in the private sector.
The overall pass percentage in government schools has not gone beyond 50 in the past five years, while it remained 75 per cent in private schools.
Sources said the Centrally sponsored schemes, including midday meal, to attract students to schools and reduce the dropout rate have not yielded the desired results.
“The government covered 9.35 lakh students of 22,965 government schools under the midday meal scheme last year. It supplied 24,155 MT of foodgrains for serving midday meal to students in J&K. It, however, paid least attention to whether quality education was being imparted to children in these institutions,” they said.
The aptitude level of primary and upper primary students in government schools is quite low, sources said, adding “How could we expect that they would perform well in board exams if they have weak foundation? Sincere and serious efforts are the need of the hour to bring reforms in the prevailing system.”
Education Minister Naeem Akhtar was not available for comment.
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