Published: 04th March 2018
Kashmir releases new academic calendar to make up for lost time, ensure transparency
Academic work in many educational institutions was badly affected in 2017 after student agitations broke out after security forces allegedly entered a college in Pulwama and thrashed students
Kashmir's education department has come out with an academic calendar to offset any loss of academic activities due to problems in law-and-order and other unforeseen circumstances this year.
"We have devised an academic calendar for the entire 2018 academic session to compensate for any losses due to unforeseen circumstances or law and order issues," said G N Itoo, Director of School Education in Kashmir. He said according to the new calendar, any academic time lost will be made up by keeping the schools open on subsequent holidays.
"We learnt from the events in 2016 and 2017 and have prepared this calendar which is time-bound and target-based," he said.
Itoo said monthly targets have been set to complete the syllabus for various classes and there will be continuous monitoring to ensure that students do not suffer on any account. "Last year, due to the student unrest, we had to announce the mid-term exams at short notice. It is natural that there was anxiety among the students but somehow we managed it through an internal mechanism. The new calendar leaves no room for surprises or announcements at short notice. The students shall be aware of what is expected to come right when they start the class work," he added.
Educational institutions in Kashmir remained closed for over five months in 2016 due to the widespread protests following killing of Hibzul Mujahideen 'commander' Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces. The government had to announce mass-promotion of all classes except class 10 and 12. However, these students had to be given 50 per cent exemption from the syllabus so that they could write the board examinations.
Itoo said several measures have been taken to ensure that the standard of education in public run schools comes to the expected levels.
"Special focus is on attendance of students as well as teachers. There will be complete transparency in what we do and full accountability of what is expected of every stakeholder," he said.
The director said last year 600 students were not allowed to write board examinations as they fell short of the required attendance.
"It was with a very heavy heart but the students have to know that the minimum attendance of classwork will not be compromised. We will be keeping a constant eye on the attendance of the students in an effort to ensure that they do not miss the final examination," he said.
In order to ensure 100 per cent attendance of students in schools, biometric attendance system for the students shall be installed in every high and higher secondary school of the state, the official said. On the performance of the government schools in last year's board examinations, Itoo said the department has fixed the responsibility for poor results in certain public schools.
"We have placed under suspension several teachers whose performance was not up to mark. However, we have given them a chance to improve during the winter break and asked them to take special classes of students who failed while they prepare for supplementary examinations. If the result of their wards improve they will be reinstated," he said.
Itoo said the state government is focussed on improving the education sector in the state. "This year, the allocation for the school education has been increased three times. It will help us in addressing the infrastructure issues which are so vital for the overall development of the students," he said.