Teachers Must Build Social Consensus To Protect Schools From Burning: Says Naem Akther

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“My appeal to teachers is that they must rise upto the occasion, as they did in 2015, and create an environment in which people see through this game (burning of schools) and this is treated as social crime and social sin,” Akhtar

File Photo
File Photo

Srinagar: Appealing the teacher community to lead the campaign at the societal level to protect the schools, Minister for Education Nayeem Akhtar Saturday blamed the elements who want to create a society of illiterates behind the burning of educational institutions.

“My appeal to teachers is that they must rise upto the occasion, as they did in 2015, and create an environment in which people see through this game (burning of schools) and this is treated as social crime and social sin,” Akhtar said in a statement to media.

“Teachers are the custodians of our conscience and the guides in revival effort of education sector that had been in shambles as a result of wrong policies. It is because of their hard work that our reform effort has been acknowledged at the national level,” he said.

Asked whether any order has been issued by the government to the teachers to remain present during nights at schools, Akhtar said, “There has been no such formal order from the government. But it is not a question of order but question of creating awareness. Separatists say they are not behind the burning the schools, government obviously has to protect them, there is no question students or common people can burn the schools. Then who is doing it? Somebody who is there to create a society of illiterates. This looks like a plan and it can be defeated only by the students, teachers and people jointly.”

The Education minister said that saving the schools shouldn’t be prescribed by an order through him or by any other officer that they should go and save a school. “It should be everybody’s responsibility. Every sane person must involve himself/herself to save the schools. I would expect the teachers to lead this campaign at the societal level. They are opinion leaders and are in large numbers available everywhere. They can mould the public opinion,” he added.

Describing the teachers of the state as the best in the country, he said, “My experience with the teachers since I took over has been pleasant as they are the best in the country.”

“Since this government took over in March 2015, we tried to create an atmosphere where people would feel this school is ours, the community ownership of the schools. The parents, students and people had started to feel that the school belongs to them. The discourse had changed from previous demands of backdoor appointments, contracts and transfers to rationalisation of teachers. I would receive calls about providing a Science teacher, a lab or computers. New awakening had been generated about the quality of the education,” Akhtar sad.

“We provided free tuition in government schools to 1.60 lakh students during winter vacations. It was done by the teachers. These teachers are opinion leaders, nation builders and they proved it. It is the same teacher who will come forward this time to create awareness and caution the society about the dangers of the intrigue and conspiracy to destroy the schools,” he added.

Asked whether government will do away with winter vacations this time, he said, “Last year it was a voluntary decision last year and I expect teachers will volunteer for it this year also. They (teachers) will run the free coaching in schools this time also.”

On the Board of School Educations (BOSE) announcement to hold exams for 10th and 12th classes in November as well as March, the Minister said, “It is giving another option. There were demands of holding exams in both November and March. Majority of the students gave us feedback it should be November. However, some students were not willing to appear now. It was expressed in newspapers also and some organization too gave the feedback to hold the exams in March. We gave an option that those who are willing to appear now will be given relaxation in syllabus and those who aren’t willing to appear now can appear in March.”

“It is upto students now when they want to appear,” he said.  

 

 

 

 

 

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