THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite stiff opposition from various school teachers’ unions, the state government is all set to go ahead with the implementation of the unification of HS and HSS sections in the new academic year. The second meeting called by the government with teachers’ unions also failed to arrive at a consensus.
Speaking to media persons, General Education Minister C Raveendranath said the government would implement the unification in phases. “We will implement the unification this year itself. It will help to increase academic standards. The government is ready to hold talks with unions again,” he said.
Though General Education Secretary A Shahjahan convened a meeting on May 20, the teachers’ union refused to accept the government’s suggestions. In the meeting, Raveendranath put forth suggestions of appointing a single director for HS and HSS, one exam commissioner, unifying office at schools which have higher secondary section, retaining DEO, AEO offices, making headmasters of HSS schools vice-principals. The government is likely to implement three of the suggestions in the first phase.
Under the new system, there will be only one ‘School Education Director’ in the place of DPI and Higher Secondary Director. As per the proposal, 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.
According to O Shoukathali, general secretary, Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers’ Union, none of the unions can accept the government’s suggestions.
“We have informed the Minister that the suggestions put forth by the government are impractical. Mainly, the examination system in the state is flawless. If any change comes, the whole examination system will be flawed. Similarly, the government’s suggestion based on the Khader Commission report suggests only a structural change in the first phase and the academic aspect would come only in the second phase which will begin in August. So, we suggested the government not to implement the system in a hurry. But, the government refused it and went ahead with it. Hence, we will initiate strong protests in future,” he said.
The Khader Commission was appointed by the govt earlier as Central assistance would be available only if HS and HSS sections are unified under one authority.
The system 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 system also proposes the integration of HS and HSS as a single administration named ‘Secondary’.