Recently, the Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar stated that all the ReTs, regularised or otherwise, have to appear for screening test as directed by J&K High Court to verify their degrees. All this was followed by strong protests, strike from ReT Teachers. But just few days back, succumbing to mounting pressure from the J&K government, an association of Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers said it will “cooperate with the authorities in identifying teachers with fake degree certificates.”
Pulse on ground is that these steps initiated by the present State Government to refurbish the public education system of the Jammu & Kashmir state , which has been over the past few decades going to rot are the steps taken in right direction. In recent years corrupt practices, abnormal student-teacher ratio, poor condition of schools are some of the permanent grey features defining the bleak scenario related to our public education system.
The student-teacher ratio has been quiet abnormal in the government run schools. At some public schools of Kashmir, a very few teachers have to cater to hundreds of students. While in some parts of the Kashmir Valley, twenty to twenty five teachers are rendering education to just five to ten pupils. At a number of places in Kashmir, the education system is literally being conducted under open air and the frequent climatic vagaries bring to grinding halt the functioning of such open air schools. But in past few months the government has shown will to correct these lacunae by closing many school with poor student roll. In a bid to reform school education system across Jammu and Kashmir, the state government has decided to close down 3000 such surplus schools.
Even the transfer system in Government schools has faced sharp criticism as it has been found marred by nepotism and corrupt practices. Now the present Education Ministry has shown the desired will to change this flawed transfer policy as well.
One hopes that present momentum of initiating series of crucial steps to reform Pubic Educating System will be continued till the Pubic Education System of Jammu & Kashmir is brought back on right tracks.