Tall claims of improvement in J&K education busted flat

Jammu, 17 May: The government of Jammu and Kashmir right from the time in 2015 March has made multiple claims in working towards and for the improvement of the quality of education in the state. The official figures recently released speak of a different reality though. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) has decreased from 66.29 per cent to 66.1 per cent from 2014-15 to 2015-16.

Another piece of information is that 182 of the 636 posts of headmaster and 1,412 of 3,682 posts of subject teacher sanctioned under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) are lying vacant. With the lack of teachers and a worsening teacher to student ratio, it is not surprising that the central scheme has not done well in J&K.

This information was given out at the recently held project approval board meeting meant to sanction the annual work plan and Budget 2016-17 of J&K under the Centrally sponsored scheme. The meeting was was held at New Delhi under the chairmanship of SC Khuntia, Secretary, School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

According to media reports, districts namely Ramban (49.93 per cent), Shopian (54.15 per cent) and Kulgam (55.28 per cent) were below the state average in GER due to non-availability of teachers. The districts namely Ganderbal (32.27 per cent), Kulgam (27.8 per cent) and Baramulla (25.30 per cent) have a high dropout rate.

The actual recommended days for teaching are 220 whereas our state follows a 185-day pattern. J&K got an approval from the MHRD to upgrade or build anew 636 school out of which 239 have been completed lack of funds and the resultant delay by construction agency has stalled work on 266 schools.

“The National Assessment Survey conducted by the National Council for Educational Research and Training for Class X indicates that 73 per cent, 87 per cent, 85 per cent and 88 per cent of students scored marks from 0 to 50 per cent in English, mathematics, science and social science, respectively, in J&K. This clearly indicates that the quality of education being imparted in the state needs to be improved through appropriate measures,” said a statement from the MHRD.

“The state has a parent-teacher ratio of 15:1 and there seems to be a need to identify the actual requirements of teachers in the state and capacity-building of existing teachers to ensure quality education,” it added.

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