Playing foul with Education

Every successive Government makes the loud claim of making education a springboard of its development policy but at the end of the day education turns out to be the biggest casualty of the Government policies. In its zeal to save the day, each Government makes concessions to the agitating teacher community in terms of pay and perks but without ensuring corresponding improvement in education.

The politically motivated thoughtless policy pursued since 2008 has now created a bizarre situation. PET and QT teachers have been promoted to SET positions. Most of the teachers promoted to these cadres and few others are either illiterate or at best semi-literate. Conscientious among them have refused to accept these promotion saying that they cannot teach but few have given to jobbery and accepted the promotion but without taking classes. Both way education and students are bound to suffer. But all of them have made the sane demand that they be promoted in their own cadres where they can deliver.

If the Government was so eager to get political mileage among the teacher community or make the profession attractive it could have upgraded these position to whatever grades it wishes to take them but it makes no sense to depute a drill instructor or recitation teacher to teach social studies, mathematic or English to elementary or secondary classes.

After the recent security enhancement protocol, this policy decision has become the last nail in the coffin of the already ailing education sector. The enhanced security protocol has involved Government departments into cross-purpose expensive litigation. It is a measure of our mental bankruptcy that security agencies and education department are fighting each other in the courts of law.

Primary schools with only one-teacher multi-grading three to five classes remain without a teacher when the one is away appearing in courts defending lack of security arrangements with the students fending for themselves in teacherless schools. If the cost run-over by nation building departments was not enough, this one has completed the circle. We have already seen C & W department building roads, followed by Public Health and others appearing on the seen to dig it out to install their cables or pipelines causing huge cost to the public exchequer and avoidable tax burden on the starving people.

Enough is enough. The nation has come to a critical pass and its salvation lies in education. Poor education is the main cause for our present malaise, especially militancy and it is the only recipe now to bail us out. Let us stop playing politics with it. Let us start paying genuine attention to it if it is not already too late.

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