THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite stiff opposition from various school teachers’ unions, the state government is all set to go ahead with the implementation of the school education integration scheme from the academic year starting June. However, the integration will be implemented only in phases. Under the scheme, there will be only one ‘School Education Director’ in the place of DPI and Higher Secondary Director.
Sources from the General Education Department said Jeevan Babu, who was the former DPI, is likely to be the frontrunner for the post of School Education Director. At present, he is the state Joint Chief Electoral Officer. In addition, there will be one director in the district to oversee the schools to higher secondary level and there will be one principal for a primary school to HS level.
The examinations till the higher secondary level will be undertaken by ‘Pareeksha Bhavan’ instead of the higher secondary board of examinations. At present, Pareeksha Bhavan is only looking after SSLC examinations.
The government will move on with the scheme based on the recommendations of the Khader Commission report. The commission was appointed by the government earlier as the Central assistance would be available only if high school and higher secondary sections are unified under one authority.Speaking to Express, A Shahjahan, General Education Secretary, said the implementation would be done from the coming academic year and it was already decided by the state government.
“We will implement the scheme as decided earlier. However, it will be done only after discussing with the teachers’ unions as there is some opposition from their part. We have to allay their fears and give them confidence and convey to them the advantages of the scheme. We will have a discussion with the unions of teachers at all LP, UP and higher secondary sections after the elections and an apt decision will be taken on how the project is implemented”, Shahjahan said.
The scheme will subsume the pre-primary, lower primary, upper primary, high school and higher secondary levels as part of ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education. The scheme also proposes the integration of high school and higher secondary as a single administration named ‘Secondary’.
The teachers’ unions are still unhappy over the government’s decision. However, they have welcomed the meeting with the government before the academic year starts.According to KC Harikrishnan, general secretary, Kerala School Teachers Association, a meeting with the government is necessary as there are some shortcomings in the scheme. “We are not against the implementation. But a meeting with the government could resolve some drawbacks in the scheme. Then only the government can go ahead with implementing the scheme,” he said.
The integrated scheme will benefit school education in a big way and other changes will follow, a top officer of the General Education Department said. The government can assure the new scheme would not affect the jobs of higher secondary teachers and instead benefit them, the officer added.