Improving educational standards-step by step!

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By: Rayees Masroor

We know that a better administration ensures a better system of deliverance and therefore ushers a much profound improvement in the overall structuring of a sector. That is precisely what can be said about the administrative initiates taken by the education sector in Jammu and Kashmir.  Administration in education is to make policies and procedures and set up educational aims besides planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, controlling and evaluating the performances and the process of integrating the appropriate human and material resources that are made available and made effective for achieving the purposes of education.

Administration in the field of education is similar to general administration in many ways, but it is also dissimilar in many more ways as it is more complex affair and needs integration and coordination of all the physical and human resources and educational elements. Besides, it requires great efficiency based on human sympathy, understanding, knowledge and skill. An effective administration would always strive for a qualitative as well as quantitative improvement in education rather than only one side of it. For achieving this goal, proper realization of adequate utilization of all available resources-human, material and financial is needed.

When it comes to achieving the main objectives of education-its generally felt that teachers have the main role to play but the reality is that a much accommodative and appreciative administration is the key as it allows the creative minds to devise and try out innovative ideas on education and instructions.  In Jammu and Kashmir, The administrative hierarchy in the school education works right from the educational institutions up to the secretariat level but in this whole ladder the most important tasks of management and administration are at the Directorate level. The Director of school Education who happens to be a senior government officer has to look after, oversee and supervise the routine work of the department on daily basis besides ensuring training, supervising and motivating the faculty as well as the non teaching, clerical staffs etc.

Director school Education is expected to maintain high levels of quality assurance and contribution to policy and planning. The office of the Directorate has the responsibility to maintain academic standards in the schools and it contributes in managing budgets and ensuring financial systems. In a place like Jammu and Kashmir where education sector is often faced with challenging scenarios, it is not easy to run the school administration.

We know that it is the teachers who have the prime and the pivotal role for realization of the educational aims and objectives but unfortunately In this part of the world teachers have to face many issues including the ones concerning their salaries, postings and promotions etc. It has been observed in the past that teachers had to come to the roads and protest for their salaries and sometimes they were lathicharged or put behind the bars in this connection. In such a scenario where there’s not a streamlined system and no certainty in the circumstances, it’s never easy to run the administration any if an official is capable of doing so, it is sheer intelligence and charisma for which the official needs to be appreciated.  What could be more eye opening than the recent Case of suicide by a family member of a school teacher whose salary was withheld for more than two years

However, the current dispensation, has given a new hope to the stakeholders including the students and the Teachers with its efficient handling of the department and also the innovativeness that is now being appreciated.  It is rightly said that excitement trickles down from leadership to the employees on the ground. Since the present director assumed his charge of the Directorate, he has shown a strategic vision, conceptual skills and kept the communication flow in great ease. Addressing the issues of the teachers, listening to the sane voices, discussing and deliberating upon the emerging scenarios- particularly in view of the Covid19- he has rejuvenated the system of online education through ZOOM classes and LMS Portal. He issued instructions and passed order for the community classes in non network areas which has immensely helped in Imparting education to children of poor families living in far flung border areas.

The most important and the praiseworthy step taken by the Directorate amid the ongoing lockdown has been the Radio and Tele classes as the digital divide and the absence of tech skills among students created many roadblocks in the online Education and this initiative has undone that. These are the signs of an effective administrator who is able to connect with the people and must have a likable personality that works well with a variety of other personalities. Being an administrator in education can be one of the most challenging but also rewarding jobs one can land into as success of the whole department is truly defined by personal leadership qualities of the leader.

Let’s hope that a more collaborative environments, effective instructional leadership, opportunities for leadership growth for faculty members, better strategic decisions, better educational programming are achieved and, most importantly, all the issues of the teachers including ReTs, regularized Contractual Teachers, Masters and all the DDO’s are resolved.

The writer is a columnist and academic counselor at IGNOU and can be reached at [email protected]ail.com)

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