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SSA teachers have and can revolutionize education sector

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Manzoor Ahmad Butt

The Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyaan (SSA) teacher scheme was launched in Jammu and Kashmir in 2000 in order to boost the elementary level of education. The aim of the scheme was to make every child learn and educate by having easy access to school, especially in remote and far-flung areas.

Thus inclusive education was brought into play in real perspective and turned the dream of universilzation of education across the country into a reality, while arresting the gender disparities compressively. While free and compulsory elementary education from the age group of 6 to 14 mandated by 86th constitutional amendment act is guaranteed by constitution of India in letter and spirit, but the implementation of the said act was brought into force by the SSA teachers who were recruited on merit bases though at zonal, or panchayat level.

The philosophy of recruiting local qualified teachers was to make teaching learning process more effective by enhancing the work culture of learning through common resource utilization and enable schools to remain open even in bad weather conditions and to maintain the regularity of schooling.

It must be properly learnt that SSA scheme, was not meant to eradicate unemployment in the country, but to provide education to all, especially the vulnerable lot of the society who had never seen school in real life.

It was the revolutionary step by the then government of India towards the education sector. The policy was framed in holistic and meticulous manner covering all the dimensions which were felt necessary to educate the child.

The infrastructure required ranged from physical to social, while physical infrastructure included school buildings, toilet facility, boundary walls, fencing, water facility and others.While social infrastructure was the need of teachers who could actually implement the scheme at ground level and create teaching – learning activity in the actual classroom.

Thus SSA teachers were recruited by the government here in Jammu and Kashmir through department of education which is simply a chain of employees ranging from teacher to the Director through ZEO’S and CEO’S. The said teacher recruitment guidelines were framed by the central government and these rules and regulations were implemented by education department through CEO’S and ZEO’S of different districts and zones and thus SSA teachers recruitment came into force.

This precious human resource who sacrificed the prime youth of their life in rendering services to the department in different capacities from CRPS, DRGS, BLOS besides polling officers to Super 50 and even Winter tutorials.

The chief irony of the fact is that during winters the department feels dire need of lecturers at higher levels and this shortage is compensated by the same SSA teacher, who was called by different unethical names since 2015. Just imagine the scenario of school education without SSA teachers, it will be dark and barren.

The questions surrounding the brains of intellectuals and different stakeholders that why government schools are not showing outstanding results? The answers are many, while the main reason is that higher officials are not inspecting the teaching learning process practically, the government school machinery runs more on papers.

There is no strict implementation of the methods and ways of teaching. In this context other teachers hired are equally responsible. In order to bring revolutionize teaching process in government schools the human resource available in whatever capacity needs to be mobilized effectively by making practical visits to schools and check the teaching learning process in a rational manner.

When human resource will be mobilized other things shall follow by nature. In this backdrop teacher’s criticism especially of SSA Teachers will not help, only appreciation and positive outlook will do wonders.

(The writer is a teacher. He holds a post graduate degree in English literature)

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