School complexes: A kill or cure step
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School complexes: A kill or cure step

SCs and their role will be seen as a backbone of the academic climate at schools now

Post by SHEIKH SHABIR KULGAMI on Friday, January 13, 2023

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It is not the end of the world. We have much time to improve our educational system and make certain that our educational institutions send out honest and sincere citizens — the citizens who are accountable for their work and behaviour.

Yet another big step has been taken by the State Education Department (SED), Jammu and Kashmir towards the improvement of school education. The creation of school complexes (SCs) is primarily aimed at making the better utilization of services of the teaching workforce from the primary to the higher secondary school level.

Notably, the provision for forming the SCs is emphatically set in the National Education Policy, 2020. All the required details and directives to be undertaken are specially noted in the order. The highlight of the document is that principal of a higher secondary school will head a complex whose jurisdiction extends upto several elementary and secondary schools.

Already the complex heads have begun to implement the directions and it is expected that the process of rationalization of teachers of each school complex shall be completed before the reopening of schools following the ongoing winter vacation.

Rationalizing teachers on the basis of qualification — with the main focus on subject knowing teachers — should ensure that no high school and higher secondary school remains without a teacher for any subject. Otherwise, it is the students whose studies suffer.

It is an open secret that at many elementary schools there are very efficient and practically subject knowing teachers; these able teachers can well be asked to serve at secondary and higher secondary schools for the benefit of students/ society. If additional incentives are provided to such teachers, they may work with more motivation.

As this new approach to the utilization of services by teachers is  to go underway, what is noteworthy is that the move will prove healthy in the long run. Not only will it allow the elementary level brilliant teachers to work at the higher level but it will also allow the SED to explore and respect the hidden but unused abilities of these teachers. Society will be the beneficiary most importantly.

Point to consider is that the new policy measure reflects the will of the government concerning school education. Mainly about the primary education. Obviously, the better use of services and talent of the human resources is likely to improve the standard of education —especially at the schools where handsome infrastructure in terms of classrooms, teaching tools, etc and funds are available.

Improving the academic scenario is a key, both for cultivating a better crop of studies and for lifting the morale of society regarding the performance of government schools. Better results, more admissions and better image of the department.

Now that the government has provided for a uniform academic calendar and curriculum for the private and public sector education, the latter should make the best of the opportunity to take school education to the gates of brilliance and prominence. School leadership, well supported at the administrative and non-administrative, can raise the academic standards. At least, the beginning can be made.

Speaking of the SCs new role, they can supposedly adapt promptly to it and with a missionary zeal fulfill the requirements of the new assignment. With their experience and expertise, the complex heads are better placed to inject the dose of motivation and confidence among their jurisdiction schools. Encouragement will lead to confidence; confidence to cooperation; cooperation to excellence and success.

On the other hand, the teaching personnel falling under a particular school complex must work shoulder to shoulder with the complex. Bad blood should stay aside. No room for complacency and confrontation. Public interest must be the golden principle.  A noble job is teaching; it waters the plants of national progress and mothers all the other professions.

Additionally, the SCs can be expected to work in line with the provisions of SED orders. Partial or casual execution of the guidelines can prove deadly for the department's performance.

 

Emerging from public circles is a valid argument about this upcoming new way of deployment of teachers at the school level; it is said that the atmosphere of complacency and demotivation is likely to upset the novel step. These arguments may sound appropriate at face value. But the mishandling of the new guidelines will amount to closing of the door for this provision of the NEP-2020 , the national document from which has originated the noble idea of formulation of School Complexes with their new responsibilities.

To conclude, it can be confidently noted that the SCs and their role will be seen as a backbone of the academic climate at schools now. Good backing from the administration will prove decisive. And things will be encouraging if SCs work in earnest.

(Author is a Teacher and RK Columnist. He can be reached on: sheikhshabir518@gmail.com)

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