Innovations in education
Improvements and innovations in the education sector have to be high on the agenda of the government be it at the local or the federal level. The sector needs various innovative ideas so that education is made alluring for those sections which have been deprived of it.
Jammu and Kashmir has over the past few years witnessing an increased attention towards promotion of education sector. The priority has been ensuring an all inclusive agenda that proves fruitful to the younger generations.
During the past fiscal the government transferred Rs 165.09 lakh into the bank accounts of eligible Children with Special Needs (CWSN) through DBT in 2022. These allowances have been disbursed on account of different allowances like escort allowance, reader allowances and stipend for girls.
Besides, the government also stressed on creating awareness about the scheme and as such a three day workshop in collaboration with JKBOSE was organized in March to extend board accommodations to CWSN on the pattern of CBSE. The workshop was attended by more than 30 experts in the field including from CBSE and NCERT.
Notably, the Right to Education (RTE) Act, introduced in 2012, allows Children with Special Needs to pursue mainstream education (inclusive education) irrespective of their impairment. The Act says that a child with ‘disability’, as defined by the Persons with Disability Act 1995 and the National Trust Act, has the right to free and compulsory education as per the provisions of Chapter V of the PWD Act.
During the past several months an initiative has been started to increase the enrolment in government schools across Jammu and Kashmir. Under this initiative around 1.50 lakh students were enrolled in government schools during the winter session.
The drive emphasized on strengthening of pre-schooling of children in the age group of 3 to 5 years and focus on increasing overall enrollment in government schools by re-enrolment of dropout students and the children who have never been enrolled in school.
Various initiatives are also being introduced to ensure that all dropouts are re-enrolled into the schools so that the entire population is brought under the literacy canvas and no one remains uneducated during these times of high competition.
Though the schemes that have been put under active consideration have been able to show some results but this momentum needs to be established strongly so that the leads that have been generated are not only consolidated but established firmly.
The education sector therefore needs to introduce mentorship programmes where the teachers can be made available for the students to find direction and help them to grow according to their interest and talents.
The teachers should be tasked to play the role of mentors for the students to achieve excellence in the education sector besides improving the academic standards in the basic classes.
The same should be replicated among the higher classes in a phased manner and the evaluation and assessment should be monitored through a well defined mechanism. The planners should also ensure that comprehensive measures are taken to bridge the social and gender gaps in school education besides ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels to streamline the literacy rate in the UT.