Teachers’ Screening Test Triggers Heated Debate in Valley



ReT teachers protesting against the proposed Screening Test in Srinagar Wednesday. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)
ReT teachers protesting the proposed Screening Test in Srinagar Wednesday. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)

The recent move proposed by the government to put the teachers of both Rehber-e-Taleem and in-service General Line, who have gotten their degrees from outside study centers or though distance mode, to a compulsory screening test for determining their skills at teaching, has triggered a heated debate across cross section of society.

While the employees of ReT have opposed the move tooth and nail, alleging it to be “biased” and “controversial”, public at large, is viewing the development as “encouraging” hoping that it would revive the ailing education sector in the Jammu and Kashmir marred by corrupt practices.

The move comes in the backdrop of an embarrassing High Court incident where a defendant who was a ReT candidate failed to write an essay on Cow and solve some basic arithmetic calculations of primary standard, casting doubts over the credibility of recruitment process.

High Court had observed that many study centers were arbitrarily furnishing degrees resulting in an adverse impact on the education system. It also directed the state government to constitute a committee to examine the issue and suggest measures.

The proposal seems to have given people, grown weary of inefficient education system, a glimmer of hope. People across the spectrum are demanding that not just only in ReT but in every sphere of educational sector in the state, the candidates must be subjected to a comprehensive skill test before being taken on the rolls so as to avoid the toll that students take in face of inefficacious faculty members.

“This is the question of the future and wellbeing of our children,” said a local in Srinagar. “If inefficient people begin making their way into the institutes of learning, what will it bode for younger generation?”

Experts maintain that education has taken a massive hit ever since the sector was opened up for private players. Private schools have brought huge deterioration in language learning. “When students go to these schools they lose whatever little they know about the language because teachers aren’t good enough, be it in Urdu or English,” said a parent.

The private schools and colleges have also become an enterprise of selling degrees, he said. Students are offered degrees in their choicest subjects at premium as a result the delivery system is compromised.

Amid mixed reactions, one dominant view states that the latest government proposal is a novel attempt to weed out the inefficient lot from its 70,000 strong teaching workforce.


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