KOCHI: On January 30, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made a statement that lower primary, primary, high school and higher secondary sections will be brought under one umbrella. The aim was to smoothen the functioning of the entire education system, something on the lines of the Kendriya Vidyalayas and the Navodaya Vidyalayas.
K V Mohankumar, Director of Public Instruction said the government’s aim was to increase efficiency through better coordination. “The higher secondary section is a later entry, having come into existence just 25-26 years ago. Schools have been here way before then. It doesn’t sound right to have multiple heads in one school – a headmaster or headmistress for the school and a principal for the higher secondary school.
The government wants to bring all the divisions under a single director,” said Mohankumar.“Once all the classes are brought under a single authority, all students will be able to use facilities like the laboratory or the library. Nothing will be demarcated as it is now,” he said. However, the government is yet to bring out a nomenclature, he said. But, higher secondary teachers are not convinced. As a mark of protest, they have decided to boycott valuation on Wednesday.
“We don’t know how efficiency can be increased by bringing Classes VIII, IX, X, XI and XII under a single umbrella. There is a great difference between all the classes, right from the teaching methodology to the manner in which students have to be handled,” said Radhakrishnan M, president, Higher Secondary School Teachers Association (HSSTA). He said the teachers worry the quality of education and discipline will be immensely affected once this happens. “Plus Two teachers will have to teach junior classes. It will neither benefit students nor teachers,” he said.
Radhakrishnan said last year, the government had conducted a cluster meeting of teachers teaching in Classes I to XII. “Nearly 70 per cent of the HSS teachers did not participate in the meeting as it was not an avenue for discussing the problems affecting HSS. Our problems are different from theirs. This time, more teachers are expected to participate in the protest,” he said.The teachers are also taking exception to fact the very persons who conducted a study on the problems affecting HSS have been now appointed as members of the panel formed for the purpose.
Strict action against those boycotting valuation
Taking a strong stand against the decision of a group of HSS teachers to boycott paper valuation on Wednesday, the office of the Director of Higher Secondary Education issued a circular saying strict action will be taken against them as per the rules. The valuation camp officers and the chief examiners have been directed to ensure the valuation continues unhindered. If there arises any situation that affects paper valuation, officers have to immediately notify the director and submit the details of those boycotting the camp with the pariksha director.