In Kashmir, 10th and 12th standard results are attached too much importance and fanfare. The result declaration news of both these two classes is received with great excitement and passion. Those who qualify it celebrate it and those who don’t, have rather a tough time to pass. Parents and families are busy discussing with one another and celebrating the joy of success of their wards. Even when there is no one in the family passing the class, the culture is to know, discover and congratulate the families of children, both in neighborhood and in relationship, who have passed the class.
Some months ago, in Dardpora Lolab, where a single student out of 44 was declared successful in class 10th exam set tongues wagging almost everywhere. As a teacher, I felt topsy-turvy and inwardly pitied the staff because in Kashmir, the Government, at once, cracks the whip on the teachers as soon as any negligence is highlighted. Seeing many pictures on social media reflecting parents protesting against the staff at Dardpora spun my mind too. Though the incident was genuine yet in Kashmir stories like these attract special attention and go viral quickly. The soft target called teaching community, far and wide, has to bear the brunt on all fronts. Let me, in this essay, mirror the other side of the episode. Realities cannot be distorted. In remote areas, the Government schools are understaffed and lack the basic infrastructure which affects the overall performance of any institution. But sardonically such things are not factored officially. In the schools of remote, areas besides teaching, a teacher has to render his role in number non-teaching assignments which are totally irrelevant to his or her profession.
The school of Dardpora was without a permanent Headmaster the whole year but it’s the sloppiness of the education department not the teachers’ laxity. I don’t favor those who have been suspended or scrapped off the increment. Let law play its role. I, undoubtedly, hail the verdict of the worthy officials but on humanitarian grounds some questions crop up in one’s mind that one wants to pose to the parents/guardians of the same school. Pertinently, where were these parents throughout the whole academic session if the situation with their children was like this? Why didn’t they complain to the concerned authorities in prior that their kids were not taught properly by the teachers in the school?
It’s only through parent-teacher meets that we can solve such complex issues of the institution. But I am sure these furious parents have never been part of such meetings. Secondly, how many times have these parents visited the school and raised issues like these with Village Education Committees (VECs)? Why couldn’t all of us report these matters in the office of the worthy Zonal Education or Chief Education Officers in prior? Why wake up late?
Compared to the Government school parents, private school parents are more cooperative, compassionate and cognizant. Narrating to my readers about carelessness of Government schools parents, succinctly, a student of class 8th of my school would often remain absent from the class. Despite repetitively informing his father, I wrote to him letters even. Still then the so called father didn’t bother to approach us. And, one day surprisingly after weeks had rolled by; his father appeared in the school premises not to rationalize his son’s absence but to fetch his D.O.B that he needed for making his Adhaar.
All parents especially the above mentioned must air their legitimate grievances. They’ve every right to do so but at least they should stay in touch with the school authorities and show cooperation for their kids’ benefit. When a private school student fails in his tests his parents quickly arrange tuition classes for him besides being taught in the school. But , when a Government school student fails, his parents instead of arranging any tuition like get him actively involved in all the domestic chores thereby defaming the whole system of education.
Candidly, all the toppers and distinction holders remain busy with tuition classes round the year despite being taught in their respective institutions. Not to speak of tuition and hard work, Government schools kids even don’t bother to come to school regularly. The system in Government schools is only uni-polar. Here, parents are negligent towards their wards’ studies. Period. They don’t even worry to visit the school when invited in parents’ meets. Government schools will show brilliant results if parents put in their role and take pains in their wards’ studies at home.
—The author has done PG in English from Kashmir University and teaches English in zone Dangiwacha, Rafiabad. He can be reached at: [email protected]