The worth of every department is shown by the working staff running it. They form the backbone of the system and if the backbone somehow gets wounded,the whole body crumbles down to earth.
Same is the case here in education system, the working staff especially teachers have struck with the worst woes from all sides. The result is evident to everyone.
Although,being the largest department in the state, it hasn't rendered any worth-some result to lure the public. The government schools have become least attractive for students and the society turns to these schools only where other options are not available.
Although, the government schools are taking the weak and left out students from private schools,but the service rules in this department has an equal influence over the sketch.In terms of quality education, the government schools are lagging far behind than private schools.
We have seen that government schools are leading the private schools in every input factor,but the output factor of government schools is an embarrassment. Government schools are equipped with best facilities which are at par to the facilities available to private schools.
Well-equipped laboratories, ICTs,smart classes and libraries have an awesome influence in government schools.The students are not charged any kind of fee,instead they are given free textbooks and mid-day meals at elementary level.
The salary comparison of teachers of government to private schools is exceptionally broad. The government schools have lost their shine and one seems a vagabond and average student if he admits that he is a student of government school.What path this department has carved out through till now has pointed it to the bottom line.
This adverse scenario of the department needs to replenished and if government is serious to rectify the system and wants it to have some momentum in it,then it is inevitable to reform the present selection-promotion mechanism in the department. Government must opt for an exam based promotion mechanism instead of seniority based promotion system.
In absence of this reform, every step, whatsoever taken by the government will yield no results as is evident from the present scenario shown by surveys and data available to us.They must held the exams for promotion of teachers to masters/lecturers and lecturers thereof.
This process will inflict the culture of competition in teachers and it is a dire need to preserve that. Any other step beyond this will lead to more destruction of the system.
Whether a teacher updates himself with service or not,he moves above on seniority list and gets promotion and it doesn't matter whether he is worth for it or not.The result of it is quite painful for the whole system.
Moreover,this exam based promotion mechanism will give an equal opportunity to all with no inferiority complex to any category. All teacher fraternity whether general line teachers, RETs,FAT teachers or whatsoever it may be will all be treated equally.
The RTE Act 2005 and NCF 2005 have strongly advocated and recommended to adopt the competition based selection and promotion scheme in school education department that shall lay the foundations of quality laden schooling system in country.
And we should take these rules into practical shape.The mechanism may be akin to departmental examination system for promotions in Central school systems and in some states like Kerala,Haryana, Mizoram,Chandigarh, etc.
The high literacy rate in above mentioned states can be attributed to such policies. So the need of the hour is to introduce a Promotion Eligibility Test(PET) at each level that is for teachers and masters.
The teachers must fulfil few eligibility conditions to remain eligible for the test like minimum of 6 or 7 years of service as teacher and 3-4 years of service for a master.
The introduction of the exam based system can be done on similar lines as is done already in various departments of Jammu and Kashmir government like Finance department, Revenue department etc. These departments are doing tremendously well compared to other departments and one needs to highlight such facts.
Moreover, the fake degrees are also not taken into limelight anywhere and they can be coped up with such system.They are never took under any screening test and get promotion without any kind of reliable knowledge of the concerned subject.
The system will alternatively remove such discrepancies and all will get promotions to higher scales based on their real performance and competence.
Author is a teacher at department of school education