Flawed management of schools

Education to all and that also free up to college level like claims of the State Government get severe drubbings and the label of being just political slogans at the hands of the people, especially from those who send their children to study in state run schools. Name any angle from which one could look into the scenario prevalent in the management of Government run schools, only despair and dissatisfaction are felt. It may be school building, the basic infrastructure, light and water availability, playing grounds, provision for extracurricular activities and to top it all, availability of teaching staff , well trained and dedicated – all are found wanting in being at expected levels. Had the parents been having a least inkling of these schools being professionally managed, they would have in all probabilities, being not making one or the other arrangement for private coaching even at unaffordablecost and many sending their children to private schools.
In absence of a proper recruitment policy of the staff, as many as 390 Government run Higher Secondary Schools in Jammu division are suffering. The position, however, in the city and some districts is not that bad as it is in rural, semi urban and remote areas. The golden rule of management is either you manage professionally or you shut the venture. There is no third option but we usually experience many options being availed of by the state Government in various areas to run the business even if for name sake. We have contractual basis appointments, casual anddaily wagesbasis, temporary basis and the like. The aftermaths of such appointments are usually non payment of salaries and wages for months together and other associated issues severely impairing the levels of performance and expected dedication to duty. In the instant case, on account of severe shortage of lecturers in these schools, career of thousands of students stands the chances of getting imperilled.
There was some “academic arrangement” ruling the conditions, eligibility, and the procedure of recruitment of these lecturers which being prima facie open to amendments and thorough review, has abruptly been stopped and not replaced by a refined and opportune ‘arrangement’. While 201 schools are upgraded which is a welcome step but no lecturer is posted inviting all pronged concern by the students and due resentment by the parents. What can one expect from a ‘well qualified’ candidate in terms of performance, doing hard work and seeing the students up brilliantly in studies and learning after getting a paltry Rs. 7000 per month (that too not regularly), subsequently enhanced to Rs. 14000? If one calls that fighting unemployment problem, one would counter it on various genuine and cogent grounds. Alternately, if such arrangement was termed only as ‘providing’ knowledgeable and efficient teaching staff to schools, that too was just a hypothetical statement. We have logic and reasons to question such premise.
What should have been ensured was launching of concerted special drive to engage efficient and brilliant candidates in disciplines of Science and Mathematics and English streams and paying them the salaries as payable to full time lecturers as any temporary or casual appointment meant the air of suspense about extensions and continuance as also no accountability for showing better performance both in classes and in exams. How does the Government justify not resolving the issue of the vacancy of on an average 5 to 6 lecturers in these schools? How better would such schools be running? Agreeably, we do not put the entire blame on the School Education Department as their say in the matter does not cross the boundary of requisitioning or forwarding the requirements of each school in respect of teaching staff, to the Government.
We are given to understand that there was a requirement of about 2000 lecturers and a portion thereof was going to be filled by the promotee Masters numbering nearly 800 but the question is not in respect of what about the rest but also how to fill the posts of 800 Masters promoted. We would urge the Government to formulate a vibrant and cogent recruitment policy for all departments including the Education and dispense with contractual, casual, temporary and daily wages basis appointments as they being of uncertain nature for the employees, performance and integrity were prone to become casualty.