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Under NEP, Childhood care, cluster system, pre-primary schooling, inclusive education our top priorities: Director School Education

Under NEP, Childhood care, cluster system, pre-primary schooling, inclusive education our top priorities: Director School Education

‘Updating Zones for ATD; Some miscalculation in handing over 666 school buildings to Centre’

Srinagar, July: The Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Tassaduq Hussain Mir said that there were ‘some miscalculations of the department’ during handing over more than 666 school buildings to the centre.

In an interview with Special Education Correspondent of the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), DSEK said that the departments will likely rework on the Updating of Zones of the districts for the Annual Transfer Driver (ATD).


KNO: What changes do you see after implementing the Uniform Academic Calendar and New Education Policy?

DSEK: The results of implementation of the Uniform Academic Calendar are in-front of the people and I believe, the media is the better judge because they are an eye of the society.

KNO: However, the results of recently declared annual regular results of 11th standard were very weak, what do you think are the possible reasons for the poor outcome?

DSEK: We have shifted towards a change in the examination system. The rot learning system is no longer in the field. We are moving into the concept clearance system. Earlier, the questions used to be about the curriculum only, however, now besides curriculum; we are teaching the students its use and implementation on ground. We are setting competency based questions and initially there may come some hiccups. The students will come out of our expectations.

KNO: What are the new initiatives and projects for the School Education Department?

DSEK: The School Education Department is working under the New Education Policy. Under this policy, we have the following track and timelines. We are working more on early childhood care, cluster system, pre-primary schooling, and inclusive education. We are giving students liberal choices.

KNO: There are rumors about curtailing working academic days following the implementation of Uniform Academic Year. Is this true?

DSEK: The institutional days in schools will remain the same as it used to be earlier before the implementation of New Education Policy

KNO: The promotion of teachers to masters has been stuck since 2014. When is the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) going to sort this issue?

DSEK: The promotion is not freezed or stuck from 2014. We have the decentralization Act and under the Act, we have to give district wise quota and we have worked on that. Accordingly, we have planned our Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meeting on July-20. We have already issued the notice.

KNO: What is the School Education Department doing to provide relief to the underprivileged students who qualify the board exams but discontinue their studies midway because of financial constraints?

DSEK: Recently, our Principal Secretary School Education Department, Alok Kumar has elaborated about the Prime Minister's Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) wherein students can apply or get benefit of the scheme. If our underprivileged students want to take advantage of it, I am sure no student will discontinue their students because of financial problems.

KNO: What is the status of Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) and what is the School Education Department in the Kashmir division doing to overcome the issue?

DSEK: See, we have a healthy PTR in comparison to the National average. Overall, we have 1:10 to 1:12 PTR in government schools. We have no dearth of teachers and wherever possible, we are streaming it.

KNO: How do you see the recently concluded students’ enrolment drive? How much of PTR have been streamlined through It.?

DSEK: Look, our target groups are Out of School Children (OoSC) and never enrolled students. Under the Talaash survey, we have reached out to many of those OoSC and we have mainstreamed them. Study centres have also been approved for them and we are working on them.

KNO: Most of the schools especially in Srinagar district are functioning from the rented buildings. What is DSEK doing to overcome the infrastructural gaps?

DSEK: We have extra infrastructure for government schools in Kashmir. Saying that we have a dearth of infrastructure in schools is a myth. We have surrendered 666 school buildings in Kashmir to the government. However, I will say that it was not done in a planned manner because we didn’t have it wherever it was required. Government has directed us to take all those unfinished school buildings in one go so that our entire infrastructure will be completed.

KNO: If we talk about the mobile and residential schools, do you think we have enough infrastructure and support for them?

DSEK: We have the appropriate mobile schools and we are building and establishing the residential schools and hostels like KGBVs and other projects.

KNO: What is the status of dropout and retention rate of students in government schools of Kashmir division?

DSEK: We are having a problem of low retention rate at one level in government schools and we are working on it.

KNO: Do you think updating of ‘Zones’ of schools for Annual Transfer Drive (ATD) in all districts especially in Srinagar is balanced? Are there any new proposals for the upcoming ATD?”

DSEK: I am aware of the issue. We are trying and working on it. Maybe we will review it in the upcoming ATD. We have a proposal of Updation for zones for the ATD—(KNO)

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