RAYEES AHMAD KUMAR
Syed Rizwan Geelani’s article ‘Why a teacher in government school is a parent in private school’ appeared few days before in a leading English daily of valley. In this article Geelani has criticised the education department’s enrolment drive program launched weeks before because of the reason that ‘Government school teachers are admitting their own wards in private schools. He further wrote” government teachers slogans of free books, free admission, free uniform and free mid-day meals to attract a good number of children in Government schools can’t prove a success till their own wards continue to remain learning in private schools.’ He further is of the view that Government school teachers don’t trust their own system of education. The article was shared through all social media platforms by diverse groups of citizens like forest fire. Social, political and civil society groups put their opinions regarding contents and reality of the Geelani’s write-up.
For decades both stakeholders and non-stakeholders continuously discuss this issue, why Government teacher aren’t admitting their own children in their schools, especially when the board results of 10th and 12th classes have been declared.
To make a reply, I too put my opinion and you are at liberty either to agree with me or disagree.
First of all, if the textbooks of public and private schools are analysed, particularly upto primary classes, even a layman would prefer to choose private ones for his children. For years, teachers have been demanding modification of textbooks but nothing concrete for the betterment of the system has been initiated.
So far as the infrastructure of public schools is concerned, it presents a disappointing picture. One can’t bear to admit children in the schools which are lacking the basic facilities. Further the location of public schools versus private schools also doesn’t attract the attention of parents to admit their children in public schools.
Government teachers are mostly engaged in non- teaching assignments for the whole academic year thereby wasting their time and resources. From zonal and district offices, their personal information is sought almost every week despite it being fetched to them frequently both through online and offline modes. Presently, teachers are engaged in NISHTHA named training through a mobile app DIKSHA for almost a month. It is nothing but to put extra psychological and mental pressure on teachers. Instead of going through the textbooks and to make suggestions for betterment of student community in these testing times, teaching guild is seeking easy ways to finish courses in order to avoid the disciplinary action from higher-ups. Out of nine courses, which have been launched so for, I have successfully completed eight but when I went through the list of teachers who completed the said courses compiled by the authorities, I was shocked when i didn’t figure my name in any of the lists. This is utter mismanagement.
No doubt teachers have the primary responsibility of playing their good role in making system vibrant and to yield better results because they are the main pillars of system and draw handsome salaries from government exchequre, but to hold only the teachers responsible for declining roll in schools without analysing other parameters is a sheer injustice with them.
Government’s initiative of enrolling the children in public schools should be encouraged instead of making the negative comments over this good endeavour. But at the same time, both stakeholders and non-stakeholders must play their positive role in making the institutions far better than private ones along with accountability in the system. It will not only prove a success but would attract the parents towards these schools.
When the infrastructure of public schools would be better than their private counterparts, textbooks are of standard type which are pleasing for both teachers and students, system is accountable, teachers are rendering their noble duties with utmost zeal and zest and with extreme honesty keeping in mind their role and responsibility and are conscious about the handsome salaries which they draw from Government exchequer, there would be no reason to disregard the public schools. I think unlikely. So instead remaining clinging to decades old myths, it is time to strengthen the Government’s hands in this noble mission.