The COVID-19 pandemic affected almost every sector around the world. But education sector in India as well as around the world was badly affected by this pandemic, leaving lakhs of learners suffering and thousands of staffers left with no jobs or salary cut.
The pandemic enforced the world wide lock down creating very bad effect on the life of learners, who later on opted for online mode of education.
As per the reports, around 32 crore learners stopped going schools/colleges and all educational activities were halted in India when COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in March 2020. But the outbreak of this pandemic advised us that change is inevitable. It worked as a catalyst for the educational institutions and made educators to understand that we have to grow and opt for platforms and techniques, which have not been used before.
The education sector has been fighting to survive the crises with a different approach and digitising the challenges to wash away the threat of the pandemic. However, the policies of government to tackle such issues effectively is need of the hour.
Government agencies need to understand that stopping offline mode of education, coercing institution heads or for that matter banning the private tuition is taking a toll on the education of learners.
Both the government and educational institutions must come forward to suggest a way out to let the schools run their processes as per the program, following the proper SOPs and maintaining the social distance.
The outbreak of pandemics not only affected the child- the main character in this whole education process but it affected the institutions, the staffers as well as their families.
In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, few steps by adminstration at district levels also burdened the educational institutions. On one side, adminstration ordered schools not to charge admission fee, while on the other hand the administration never issued any order instructing parents (government officials or bussinessmen) to pay the school fee, transport charges of their wards on time.
Recently, in one such meeting, an administrator in a district of north Kashmir ordered a school principal to pay the salaries of transport department while as same school wasn’t paid school fee or transport fee by parent. No fee means no salary to employees and we can’t expect educational institutions to pay salaries of employees when the parents never paid the fees of their wards.
Officials at decision making level must understand that our educational institutions receiving zero funding from outside sources or trusts can’t work by putting a blanket ban on their main income.
Actually not an single institution can work smoothly if not paid for its services it provides to the customers!
Instead of ‘draconian’ laws, rules and communique, it would have been beneficial for the learners, the society and for an healthy educational environment, if authorities would have asked the educational institutions for enhancement in their teaching-learning methods, infrastructure, transportation facilities, proper hygiene and constituted a team of officials to keep a track record of the developments.
After all we all need the best education for our kids. Parents must not ask for relaxations from such institutions but they must make these institutions accountable for the academics, co-curricular part, use of new age technology, the teaching learning methods and instead spend few extra pennies.
We as parents must understand that nothing in this world is free. When we are spending a hefty amount on the education of our children, we have every right to keep a track of the academics, education of our children but side by side paying the fees well on time is our moral and legal duty.
These institutions are not only spreading the knowledge but serving lakhs of individuals, their families by the fee they receive from the parents. We as a society are supposed to sail in a common boat; it should not be parents versus educational institutions but it should be parents, educational institutions and administration working together for an enlightened society.
At times our administration seems to work in a hurry without a proper road map or thinking about the consequences.
Despite our children facing massive challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, recieving education via online mode on a weaker internet speed, we are witnessing a new norm; officials targetting coaching centres at selected places.
We lost one complete one educational year due to COVID-19 pandemic and our schools are closed for a winter break.
During the winters, our children receive education at these centers but the unfortunate part is that officials don’t even want these education centers open and to impart education. Whatever the reasons, be it COVID-19 pandemic or some ulterior motives behind this step, it is the students who suffer.
Morover, it is shocking that when government has issued the order to ban government teachers to teach at tuition centers for the whole Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, why only few institutions are being targeted. The big fishes as usual always are given a safe escape and it seems that these laws are designed to coerce the small institutions only.
What matters the most is satisfaction of student community. If there are good teachers imparting quality education to the students, is there any need to ban such a teacher? No, instead the administration has to change the laws which serve no good to the society.
These educational centers train our kids for competitive exams, in a way help them to use their quality time in a right direction. Let our administration seek a way out and check their teaching methods, keep a track on their progress and check the facilities at these institutions instead of banning teachers to work at such institutions.
A bureaucrat, a university professor, a doctor and an engineer is given free license to teach and earn despite receiving a hefty salary from government, but a teacher whose job is actually to impart basic education to our children is pushed to the wall. What adds more to the sorry state of affairs is invoking law enforcing agencies, at a time when almost all the coaching centres have already hired the services of the government teachers who are engaged in teaching for the last couple of months now. It would have been a display of sanity, if at the time of registration the concerned authorities had raised this issue of not allowing the teachers to take any such assignment.
The list of teachers furnished and forwarded at the time of seeking registration should have been objected to then only. It adds more to the frustration of all the stakeholders.
The people at the helm of affairs must give it a second thought, and try to defuse the situation at an earliest.
Let’s sail in the same boat and work for the bright future of our students and for the good of society. Let’s provide a healing touch to our education sector instead of unwanted coercion in the name of streamlining the education.