Education in India is considered largely a public good. Central and State Governments therefore owe a responsibility for providing education to the citizens.
Education is also on concurrent list of the constitution. The aforesaid responsibility is accordingly shared by both the Governments. This necessitates an effective co-ordination mechanism to bring about conformity.
Education ecosystem has a chain-link effect from one stage to another with due interdependence. Essential it is to strengthen the base of pyramid. It is often complained based on observations that input admitted at the college or university level is not up to the mark. Simply because the output churned out in the chain from one to another stage – primary to secondary to tertiary level- is not in sync with well established standards.
J&K Education Minister thus builds his argument by quoting a Persian couplet, the rendering reads: The first stone if wrongly placed would result in the leaning tower. The focus is on the viable base of the entire education system.
During an informal session some university academics deliberated upon the subject seriously and tried to find out the contours of a relevant, pragmatic and workable School Adoption Model (SAM). During the deliberations a variety of interesting issues emerged. Should it be academic or financial or administrative adoption. Government schools- primary or high – have been manned with qualified and trained teachers.
Physical infrastructure has also been created to meet basic minimum requirements. But the students are not lured to seek their admission in these schools. The annual academic results are gloomy despite the strength of teachers is disproportionate to the student enrolled. In one school there are 17 teachers for 70 students, as for instance.
During the deliberations a consensus emerged that in the first instance there should be academic adoption of these schools to ensure process enrichment. A University or a College that adopts a school in its vicinity of operations should perform as a Responsible Socio-academic Citizen. The immediate objective of adoption should be to improve upon the academic performance of these schools. This objective can be achieved thus:
I) By organizing capacity building programs for school teachers to keep them updated with current trends in their respective disciplines with special focus on pedagogical analysis.
II) By visiting schools and conducting special sessions to motivate students to be fully absorbed in their studies and sort-out difficulties they are confronted with in some courses or certain areas of the syllabi.
III) By creating some basic facilities like providing computers, reading material, books, and magazine toward motivating students to continue their studies in these schools
IV) By engaging students in co-curricular activities like debates, seminars, indoor and outdoor games to overcome their inhibitions
V) By conducting some important functions, school days; get together meets inviting their parents discussing school functioning with them
VI) By conducting periodical tests, quiz programmes, essay competitions to assess performance of students with due regard to continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) so that they are well prepared for their annual examinations .
Some more academic activities can be added to the list. The objective is to improve upon the academic achievements of our students enrolled in Government Schools. The higher education sector in the state has to adopt these schools in the spirit of a mission, and not as a ritual.
All the stakeholders should take this noble endeavor in a right perspective. These students are next to none. They deserve attention and care as our generation has been groomed in Government schools.