This once, give education a chance

Gagandeep Singh Gill

The three-part series on the transfer policy of government teachers in The Tribune focused on the uneven distribution of teachers in the state, however, there is no mention that even after getting good salaries some teachers fail to deliver good results. Why not assess the teaching practices of teachers? A government or a private organisation can be entrusted with this task. At present, there is no real performance audit feedback on teachers, irrespective of their subject.

Why should playways or kindergartens be ignored? These are nurseries where young saplings are transplanted into school and higher education. It is a sad comment that most of the time anganwadi teachers are found holding protests for better pay and service conditions rather than nurturing children.

I have had my schooling in government schools. I proudly tell everyone of my government school days. I did well in English, maths and science. Our teachers took extra classes. No doubt, they were strict, but that has paid off well.

Today, like hundreds of other parents, including teachers working in government schools, my first preference is to send my child to the best private school. What a sad development! This speaks volumes of our education. What to say of a transfer policy, it is shocking there is no holistic education policy, yet, even after 70 years of Independence. We are still experimenting.

The postings of teachers is a well-oiled money-spinning business. It is apparently a vote-bank ploy, the future of children can wait! The question comes to mind: are students studying in government schools in border and rural areas ‘lesser children’? Don’t they have a right to quality education and prepare for competitive exams? Even private institutions with a ‘reputation’ tag shy away from opening branches in villages, given their commercial interests.

It is not only about unequal distribution of teachers in government schools, but also it is important to assess the family background of children studying in these schools.

Communication gap between a teacher and student is another important aspect. Language or medium of instruction is seen as a hurdle. And here we are still trying to figure out when to start teaching English, when to introduce the mother-tongue and even text contents are disputed, as is the switch from the mother-tongue to English medium in respect of certain subjects. These factors eclipse the scope of quality education.

Academicians and educationists should suggest appropriate education reforms that are in sync with the existing socio-economic situation and the physical structure and infrastructure of government schools.

A teacher should not stay at one station for over two years. Just as there are exchange programmes for students, why not for teachers? Let us give a fair chance to students and teachers to be part of a good learning experience.

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