Dr. Asangba Tzüdir
The rationalization exercise and the re-deployment of teachers is still in the process though slated to be completed by this September. During the rationalization process many GMS were upgraded to GHS. In the latest move, along with downgrading, merger and closure depending on the status and performance of the schools, another notification has come as a blow for many teachers, which, for the department, is a move to have ‘trained’ and ‘qualified’ teachers in schools.
The requirements are such that, untrained elementary teachers need to take D. El.Ed Course; those with B. Ed need to go for a 6 months bridge course; Elementary teachers with less than 45% in 10+2 need to sit for improvement exam; elementary teachers having only matriculate qualification need to go for 10+2 exam along with D. El.Ed Course.
Surely, this exercise will have a bearing on the status of teachers being ‘trained’ and ‘qualified.’ Now, since the department cannot afford regular classes and trainings, it is to be done through National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS). So the question is, how much will open school learning effect on quality education besides mere acquisition of degrees. It may end up being a futile exercise in the context of delivering quality education.
For now, this process of rationalization has involved a lot of ‘unsettling’ moves and even the process of downgrading, merger and closure will cause a lot of major hiccups to the normal functioning of the schools. A lot of policies are adopted and implemented without a proper analysis of the ground realities and its associated limitations and repercussions, and therefore in most cases, the real objectives find overlooked.
A lot of efforts have gone into the present rationalization process in the Department of School Education, though questions of credibility still remain. Further, beyond ‘restructuring,’ this rationalization process should focus on a missing objective of focussing on building schools that teach the students to become humans. The various fields and subjects of knowledge become important if and only if it is employed objectively to transform students into a value oriented human being and not a ‘bullet’ that kills or causes destruction.
The task of teaching the students to become humans also comes from teaching in praxis the meaning of sacrificing and coming out of one’s comfort zone. In the profession of teaching, in order to confront problems and challenges, a ‘moral responsibility’ should precede self-interest as well as the callous attitude towards the profession. This has been seriously found wanting in govt. schools.
At the end, the purpose of a school is to impart quality education and to make a person a better human. Thus, the current idea of rationalization seems to be limited in its scope. What has been found wanting is new developmental models for delivering ‘quality’ education that will serve the real purpose of education. There is need for a model that is based on a holistic approach to education in drawing out the human face. For now education remains a suspect entity.
(Dr. Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to email@example.com)