Srinagar, June 16: In an unprecedented community mobilization campaign launched by the Education Department, 6828 Village Education Committees (VECs) have been constituted in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure academic accountability and make the schools function as a part of the social system.
The special campaign to constitute the VECs in the State was launched on 14 June on the initiative of the Minister for Education, Mr Naeem Akhtar.
During the day-long campaign 3747 VECs were constituted in 10 districts of Jammu region while 3081 VECs were constituted in 10 districts of Kashmir province.
In Jammu division the highest number of 859 VECs have been constituted in district Jammu followed by Kathua with 512 VECs, Samba 500, Doda 400, Rajouri 366, Udhampur 364, Reasi 246, Poonch 172 and Ramban 172.
In Kashmir province, the highest number of 597 VECs have been constituted in district Baramulla, followed by Budgam with 499, Anantnag 409, Kupwara 388, Pulwama 335, Kulgam 288, Shopian 253, Ganderbal 116, Bandipora 111 and Srinagar 85.
Each VEC constitutes headmaster/head-teacher of the school functioning in the village as Chairperson with representatives from local Panchayat/Municipal Ward, one respected person of the village, one person from local SC/ST community, two persons from amongst local retired teachers/government officials/alumni, representative from amongst the parents, one basic health worker and one Anganwadi worker as members. Besides, the local Halqa Patwari, local CA&PD Storekeeper, local Village Level Worker and a teacher of the school act as ex-officio members.
“The constitution of VECs is aimed at giving community ownership to the educational institutions and make the schools function as a part of the social system,” said the Education Minister.
He said education takes place not only in schools but also within families, communities and society and added that schools cannot and should not operate as separate entities within society.
He said the VECs would promote a synergetic relationship between the community and the schools to ensure smooth functioning of the local educational institutes, assist the Headmaster in transparent and effective utilization of funds, monitor enrolment, academic performance of children, attendance and quality of education being imparted in the school.
Besides, the Minister said that VECs will be also responsible for maintenance of schools, purchase of materials, school mapping and micro-planning, preparation of Village Education Plan and monitoring the school management as well as teacher performance.
The Minister said unfortunately the previous regime had completely neglected these crucial and fundamental aspects of education sector, resulting not only in steady degradation of academics but loss of huge funding from the Centre as well. He said the initiatives taken by the present Government during the past few months, especially in education sector, have started showing results and there is perceptible change on the ground with stakeholders eagerly coming forward to become a part of this enterprise for hope.
Pertinently, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed while speaking at the Public Information Campaign (PIC) at Budgam on Monday acknowledged and appreciated the tangible change in the education sector over the past few months.
The Minister expressed gratitude to the District Administrations of all the districts and the officers/officials of the Education Department for their efforts in making the campaign a successful event. He said more such campaigns would be organized in coming days to cover all the left-out schools.
2015 Kashmir Despatch