The performance in the recently declared results of the All India Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (AISSCE) by the students of government schools of the state needs contemplation.
The most commonly accepted factors attributed to this bleak performance are child-centered education (CCE), lack of subject-specific teachers, particularly science and mathematics teachers, in many secondary and higher secondary schools; the impact of the no-detention policy under the erstwhile CCE; poor educational foundation or primary education; and socioeconomic and cultural factors like lack of suitable study environment at home, economic backwardness of family, lack of prioritization on education particularly on girls education.
Further, there is lack of trained teachers at the primary stage in many schools and many districts. Many remote schools of the state are being looked after only by part-time instructors (PTI) and part-time teachers (PTT). There are many upper primary and secondary schools in the state without regular ATs or JTs. Numerous upgraded schools are suffering from lack of basic educational infrastructure vis-à-vis school building with adequate classrooms, teachers and teachers’ quarters, laboratory, library, textbooks, etc.
Furthermore, the teachers’ morale in the state seems to be at its lowest ebb for the last couple of years due to irregular and untimely salaries, feeling of service-insecurity, lack of proper guidance and counselling, induction training, orientation or special refresher courses, encouragement and recognition of their notable services, sacrifices, efforts and contributions.
Addressing these issues will surely one day pay rich dividends and gradually the education quality, along with the overall pass percentage, will certainly improve.
But one of the most important points that must be decided is the approach we want to tread on, and the target which we want to accomplish. The question is whether we need to focus on qualitative or quantitative education in our system. If quality is the target, the pre-board screening test must continue in the elementary, secondary and higher secondary stages. Remedial teachings, monthly tests, quarterly tests and house tests may be further strengthened in every school. The monthly attendance of students may be maintained. Guidance and counselling, especially for students appearing for the board exams, must be introduced without losing any time.
In this context, NGOs may be invited and involved from time to time, for which a suitable mechanism may be worked out. Teacher’s in-service training may be conducted from time to time to rejuvenate and acquaint teachers with new developments in the field of academics, syllabi, teaching methodologies, new targets and challenges.
Community mobilization and their active participation in promoting quality education and school management, and proper implementation of the plans and policies of the government may be encouraged and welcomed. Institutional administration in the government schools across the state must be strengthened further. Efforts should be initiated to improve the ever thinning teachers-students relationship, as well as the school environment.
It is, thus, high time that instead of mudslinging among different stakeholders, necessary remedial measures may be initiated with utmost urgency to bring the much-needed reformation by addressing the different obstacles or issues responsible for the recent pathetic and upsetting results of the schools with promptness at every stage by all the authorities concerned.
It is hoped that the acute shortage of subject teachers across the state will be met very soon with the recently sanctioned 540 posts of trained graduate teachers and 126 posts of postgraduate teachers, after the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission completes the recruitment process.
The efforts of all – administrators, teachers, parents, guardians, well-wishers – along with hard work by the students would certainly not go to waste, and their selfless determination and honest and sincere perseverance will bring laurels to this state.