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Nurturing the Lifeline: RETs and RRTs as the Pulse of the Education System.

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By: Gh Hassan Bhat

The JK Vision Document 2047 is really making waves in the education sector of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s so cool that they’re focusing on equipping all schools with ICT and modern facilities. The goal of creating a more inclusive and student-oriented education system is fantastic. Subject liberty, e-content creation, and flipped and blended learning will definitely take education to the next level. I’m excited to see the positive changes this document will bring to the education landscape in JK.

Indeed, it is disheartening that some individuals have deemed trained RETs and RRTS tutors as a peril to the education realm.  We must acknowledge that their qualifications, such as degrees in BED, MED, PG, SET, NET, PHD, signify their expertise and dedication. To perceive them as untrained or a threat would be an erroneous judgment. Let us strive to appreciate and honor the knowledge and proficiency of these remarkable professionals. Education thrives when we uplift and value the contributions of those who have worked diligently to acquire wisdom!

In the academic year 2019-2020, all non-BED teachers, including RETs and RRTs, were required to pursue their BED through IGNOU as per the government’s directive under the guidance of the then Education Minister, AltafBukhari. Every year, teachers strive to enhance their professional qualifications through various means, which greatly benefits the department.

Despite the challenges faced, these dedicated teachers have never compromised on their rightful duties. Their relentless efforts have contributed to making the education system more vibrant, accessible, and widespread. These teachers were engaged under the guidelines of SSA, following proper procedures and based on their academic achievements and merit. They have dedicated their youthful years to the betterment and upliftment of the education sector, serving as true blessings to the students.

The annals of time bear witness to the gallant RETs and RRTs, who once traversed the streets till the eve of 2018, when the sacred decree of the SAC breathed new life into their noble ranks. Transformed into the esteemed echelons of GII and GIII, they ascended, having fulfilled every criterion with utmost grace. Undeterred by the tempestuous trials that beset them, they valiantly discharge their duties, etching an indelible imprint upon the tapestry of existence. Their contributions to the realm of education, a symphony of unparalleled magnitude, are inscribed in the annals of time. In the year 2001, when the veil of illiteracy shrouded Jammu and Kashmir, with a mere 55% literacy rate, it was these noble souls who, through their unwavering ardor, propelled it to a resplendent 67% by 2011. They, the vanguards of knowledge, have triumphantly reopened the gates of countless schools, breathing life into the aspirations of the youth, and propelling the education sector to celestial heights. Their unwavering dedication, a testament to the triumph of the human spirit, shall forever be extolled.

During the challenging times of the 2019-2020 pandemic, these remarkable educators displayed unwavering dedication. They selflessly offered online services to students, while also organizing open-air community classes for those without access to technology. Their noble efforts were not only acknowledged but celebrated by the government and esteemed institutions like NITI Aayog. Through their tireless work, they successfully enrolled countless students in government schools, including out-of-school children and those with special needs. These teachers embraced additional responsibilities, serving as BLOs, observers, trainers, and conducting surveys, all driven by their passion for education. Their altruism and commitment shine as a beacon of inspiration in these challenging times.

In a remarkable stride towards educational excellence, the RETs, RRTs, and other esteemed teachers have embarked on a transformative path through rigorous capacity-building training programs conducted by prestigious institutions such as DIETS, SCERTS, NCERT, and more. These dedicated professionals have embraced professional training initiatives like IMPACT, DIKSHA COURSES, Learning outcomes, SBA, ECCC, and many others, all aimed at fostering their professional growth and advancement.

However, as the adage goes, “No one is perfect; one must continue to learn from cradle to the grave,” life itself is a perpetual journey of learning, and within our education system and among this esteemed group of teachers, challenges persist. It is imperative that we acknowledge these challenges, taking ownership and offering comprehensive training for the holistic development and benefit of the new generation of learners. Let us fortify our training institutions, creating robust platforms to impart diverse capacity-building courses that will further enhance the skills of these dedicated educators.

The National Education Policy 2020 also places great emphasis on this crucial training component and the pursuit of quality education. This vision can only be realized when we collectively honor and respect our teachers, both in general and within the RET and RRT community, for teaching is truly a noble apostle profession. Together we need to pave the way for a brighter future, where education thrives and teachers inspire generations to reach their fullest potential.

The Author is a teacher /Education resource person and a columnist. [email protected]

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