Even as government schools in the city have fared poorly in surveys conducted by NCERT over the past two years about quality of education being provided to students, four committees constituted by the Education Department to analyse reasons for poor performance are lying defunct.
The four committees, constituted in 2012, which were chaired by the DEO, Deputy DEO-I, Deputy DEO-II and the Deputy Director (School Education), were given the charge of 24-25 schools each to see the kind of problems children were facing in learning and coping with the studies.
Deputy Director (School Education) Chanchal Singh said, “Those committees were made only for a year under the supervision of the DPI concerned and then the system changed.”
However, another senior official of the department, who was made incharge of one of the committees, said, “There were official orders from the then education secretary V K Singh to form special committees for the government schools. The then DPI Upkar Singh had formed four committees and each member was given a charge of seven-eight schools to check the reasons for the poor performance of the students to analyse the key areas where the children were facing problems in learning and also to keep a check on the teaching methodology.”
The official added, “The committee working was very effective and we were getting to know a lot of problems which the students at primary level were facing. School heads had started taking personal interest in improving the results of their individual school but unfortunately, with new DPI and new education secretary, the committees became defunct and nobody talked about it later.”
The purpose of constituting the committees was an ‘overall school inspection’ in terms of infrastructure, midday meal, attendance, teaching methodology, subject-wise results, time-table being followed or not, use of right resource books, required pupil and teacher ratio, and cleanliness. The staff of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was also a part of the committees.
Deputy Director (School Education) Chanchal Singh, former District Education Officer (DEO) Ram Kumar Sharma, Deputy District Education Officer-I Vinay Sood (now the DEO), DEO-II Rajinder Kaur, Deputy Director (Vocational Education) Saroj Mittal, Assistant Director (Vocational Education) Shiv Kumar Sharma, Deputy Director (Adult Education-I) Jaswinder Kaur, Deputy Director (Adult Education-II) Suman Sharma, subject experts Sunil Bedi and Anita Sharma were members of those four committees.
District Education Officer Vinay Sood said, “We used to conduct proper inspections on a regular basis and a lot of improvement was seen only at the mention of inspection. Schools were taking strict care of their infrastructure and cleanliness. But after 2012, nothing happened. Meanwhile, we are thinking of starting the inspections once again, where we could analyse the weakness in the students’ performance. We need to strengthen their base starting from the primary level. Also, as the nation is talking about the no-detention policy for classes I-VIII, we may also think along those lines.”
According to the National Achievement Survey (NAS)-2014 conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the largest proportion of students in the city had scored only 51-75 per cent correct answers in both languages and mathematics.