Akhtar Seeks transparency in examination system; Says effective regulatory mechanism to be put in place for private schools
SRINAGAR, AUGUST 13: Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar today asked the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education (JKBOSE) to make textbooks available to the students in digital format for easy accessibility. He said a comprehensive exercise has already been set into motion by the Education Department to take a holistic review of the existing curriculum to know whether it is delivering what the students need, parents expect and the job-market requires in an increasingly competitive world.
This was stated by the Minister at a meeting convened here to take a broad review of the functioning and activities of JKBOSE. Chairman JKBOSE, Prof Zahoor Ahmad Chatt, Commissioner Secretary School Education, Shaleen Kabra, Secretary JKBOSE, Veena Pandit besides Joint Secretaries of the Board and other senior officials were present in the meeting.
The Minister said that the textbooks should be made available on the website of JKBOSE in the digitised format for students to download. He said besides other relevant reading material and web-links to various knowledge portals should also be put up on the JKBOSE website for ready reference of the students.
The Minister said expert views are being sought for the review of the curriculum, especially in the subjects of mathematics and sciences, to make it relevant to the present times. He said various stakeholders including the students, parents, teachers, subject specialists and educational experts are being taken on board to devise a wide-ranging and up-to-date curriculum. “The updating of curriculum would be a regular process in future,” he said.
Akhtar also directed the concerned to ensure flawless, quality and eye-catching printing of textbooks.
He said in order to ease the process and to ensure hassle-free submission of forms, steps will be taken to make various examinations and admission forms available online. “In order to enhance transparency, IT intervention should be made in all areas and various functions of the Board pertaining to examinations, selection of staff for invigilation and posting of such staff should be computerised,” the Minister said and asked the JKBOSE chairman to adopt a policy of zero tolerance against complaints of malpractices by the supervisory staff during examinations. He said efforts are on to institutionalise the examination system to ensure maximum transparency.
During the meeting it was discussed that Urdu should be taught not only as language but also as a medium of instruction for subjects like history, science etc. in order to help the student comprehend better. “We can blend topics from history, economics and other subjects into Urdu language to enrich the language students simultaneously with knowledge of other subjects,” he said.
With regard to regulating the functioning of the private educational institutions, the Minister called for formulating joint inspection system of JKBOSE and the School Education Department for recognition and affiliation of such institutions. The Minister said that a Single Window Clearance System should be put in place to help ease the process of recognition for the private schools, adding that already established schools may no longer need to renew their recognition every year.
He, however, made it clear that an exacting regulatory mechanism would be put in place to evaluate, on regular basis, not only the academic environment and infrastructure facilities of the private schools, but the working condition and the remuneration of the teaching and non-teaching staff as well in such institutions.
It was also decided in the meeting that the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation System being an ideal tool for measurement and evaluation of not only identified learning and teaching objectives but also for gauging a pupil’s holistic development shall be properly implemented.
It was also decided that a model for imparting Diploma in Elementary Education for all, including in-service teachers through Government institutions should be developed, where the government educational institutions can offer such courses in evening classes. “We have a vast infrastructure in the education sector, which needs to be used productively,” he said.