Banning private tuitions
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Banning private tuitions

The present government needs to ensure follow up actions so that the ban succeeds

Post by SHEIKH SHABIR KULGAMI on Wednesday, November 23, 2022

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Can any government employee work for his/her own welfare at the cost of public wellbeing? You may say No! Right answer. But there are dozens of employees who do private business in broad daylight to feather their own nests; legal fear and public interests  aside. These selfish employees can be seen in every public office. School teachers included. To ensure that the government school teachers just confine their work to schools and not work for their personal benefit at coaching centres, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has banned private tution/ coaching by the government teachers again. Appreciable is the step by the government authorities: Rule of law must take its course to prevent chaos in society and cement the place of the government writ.

 

One can expect that the tuition ban sustains — both on paper and on the ground level—providing absolutely no room for complacency and its violation. Defeating human mind is a challenging task; past experience stands witness that the instructions for no private tution by government teachers could be seen surrendering before the corruption network as winter walks ahead. And these words dominate over the complaints of the ban break— no arguments; will see into it. In fact, nothing would happen and day and night would continue the banned coaching.

 

Implementing the ' no tuition directions' call for a courageous heart and a visionary mindset because not only the school teachers but also college teachers and the employees from the other departments have often be reported to work at coaching centres very early in the morning or before evenings all over a year. In this selfish scenario, school education becomes the first causality and classrooms at schools, especially at the high and higher secondary schools, remain hungry for students.

 

Although the previous elected governments also had banned government teachers from doing private tuitions, the ban failed at the implementation phase. Private tuitions or coaching continued. Even the much touted provision of facilities — toilet, drinking water, heating, separate tuitions for boys and girls and waiting rooms for students at the centers— just remained confined to official orders. Agreed that some coaching centers were closed, some teachers were taken to task and even some facilities were made available, but with the passage of time, things returned to where they were before the ban. Why? Obviously because of bribery, favoritism and official apathy. Expectedly, the same does not happen this time. The present government needs to ensure follow up actions so that the ban succeeds. A failure here will not only deal a blow to the government image but also is likely to embolden the ban violators.

 

 

 

Notably, most people as always have welcomed the government's decision for a few right reasons: one, with no government employees doing coaching, the educated jobseekers should employ themselves to earn a respectable livelihood at the tuition centres. Two, the ban signals that the present government looks firm for reforming the school education sector. Infact, government teachers are mandated to teach at schools, not at tuition centers, and for that they are paid handsome salaries out of the state exchequer. Stopping them from tuitions can make them work harder at schools. And the student community, especially those who cannot afford good tuitions, will be benefited.

 

Additionally, the private-tution ban has injected trust in common people, expecting that private practice by doctors may also be banned strictly. After all, the doctors are paid to treat people (at government hospitals) from the same treasuries as teachers and it is no secret that they are seen at private clinics even during office hours though they are paid higher salaries than most teachers. If doctors are banned from the practice and transferred to far flung areas, the poor villagers can be treated well. They are fleeced by quacks at villages in the absence of doctors at health centres — during daytime or at night time.

 

A question: why do govt teachers go for tuitions?  Yes, some do so because of greed for money though they earn handsome salaries. However, most of them do so out of very poor financial conditions. Make no mistake, we have a huge number of school teachers from a very poor economic background and they need enough money to make modest houses, get their brothers and sisters married and pay medical expenses of their parents. So they join tuition centers to supplement their low income. This author knows a few teachers who live in abject poverty. Their salaries notwithstanding. They need enough money to buy a piece of land for a house construction, repay bank loans and pay the other expenses incurred while fulfilling the family responsibilities.

 

 Doing tuitions, especially in winter’s chilly conditions, is no enjoyable activity for these teachers. It does not make them richer. It just keeps their hearth burning and meets their basic needs the number of which has expanded in the present times. Will it not look bad and painful if a teacher is in poor financial conditions, affecting his /her mental health, social status and social appearance?

 

What is noteworthy is that the establishment—which is looking serious to see its 'no-tuition measure' prevail— is likely to find it difficult to implement the ban: There is no guarantee that the executive hands will remain clean handed and impartial in implementing the tuition ban. And besides, it is not written on the foreheads of teachers or the other employees—working at the coaching centres or doing any other business during office hours— that they are getting government salaries.

 

 

 

To ensure the strict application of the ban on the teachers, the government needs an honest watchdog backed by a strong political will and coordination at the executive level. Above all, the tuition ban and shifting of the exam session shows that the government is reforming the ongoing educational scenario here. More to be done.

                                                     

(Author is a teacher by profession and RK Columnist. He can be reached on: Sheikhshabir518@gmail.com)