(Syed Ishfaq Noor is a teacher at the Government Middle School in Mir Mohalla Hygam Zone, Sopore.)
Towards Quality Education
Quality education is possible when academic support in terms of quality resource persons at zonal, District and state levels is made available. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (universal education programme) helped bring 20 million children into school. It also plans to quadruple the number of universities to 1,500 in 10 years. In the last ten years, there have been tremendous strides in the field of education in Jammu & Kashmir despite its abysmal educational sector. But the question is, ‘have we fulfilled the fundamental goal of education i.e. Quality education’?
The population of children in a country makes up its human resource for the future. The social, economic and cultural growth and development of any society hinges upon the quality of its human resource. Three and a half decades after the adoption of the National Policy for Children, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram allocated the seemingly huge amount of Rs. 34,400 crores exclusively to the education sector in his Annual Budget last fiscal year. The much-hyped Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was granted a handsome Rs. 13,100 crore in the year 2008-2009 Policy makers have devised good schemes under the banner of widening access to quality education at pre-primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Now the question is `are these schemes really implemented at grass root level or are they thrown into dustbins by our much hyped CEOs and ZEOs. Quality education is missing in our education system. This calls for a paradigm shift in our perception of the goals of education.
In District Baramulla about 60 ReT teachers, with teaching experience between 2-6 years, work as ZRPs and CRPs for SSA. If the government circular requires teaching experience of more than 15 years for fulfilling of the said vacancy, then why is it so? Can they impart quality education? Do they really provide academic support to the schools? These deputations and unnecessarily deployments and amalgamation of schools have deteriorated the foundations of our education system. On the other side deputation or deployment of ReT teachers is in complete violation of SSA norms.
An education that fails to inculcate basic values in the people is worse than ignorance and illiteracy. It is time we change our attitude to achieve wonders in revamping our education system. All of us should join hands and focus on one cause so that there will be a perceptible change in the quality of education.
The resource person should be a person with an iron will. Apart from knowledge of his subject, he should have a thorough knowledge of approach to life, national goals, history, geography, basic sciences, current affairs, and he should be well equipped with modern scientific techniques and national and international policies. He should stand before the child like a learned saint and be able to satisfy all queries of the child.