Measles went “viral” in 2018, infecting nearly ten million people worldwide and claiming 142,000 lives. Poor vaccination coverage and large pockets of unvaccinated children resulted in devastating outbreaks in many parts of the world, including in countries that had high vaccination rates or had previously eliminated the disease. Last year, the United States reported its highest number of cases in a quarter-century, while four European countries – Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece, and the United Kingdom – lost their measles-free status following protracted outbreaks.
Recently, the annual board results were announced. This time, the overall pass percentage was relatively good, but as usual, the government schools didn’t perform well and failed to show any impressive results. As per the figures, forty schools showed below 40 percent result. This issue of concern once again raised genuine questions on the declining standards of education in our government schools.
Though these schools are equipped with qualified staff compared to the private or public institutions, despite that the condition of these schools is worsening day by day and the issue of poor performance remains unaddressed. As a result, there has been a huge decline in enrolment in these institutions which once used to be abuzz with an ample number of students. The reason is quite obvious-poor performance.
Parents are reluctant to send their wards to the government schools because they have lost their faith in the standards of education the government schools offer. The parents gauge the educational institutions based on the results schools show in board exams. They see no hope of proper improvement and development of physical, cognitive and communicative competence of their wards in government.
The government and the custodians of this department very often boast of taking many steps aimed to upgrade the educational standards in these schools but the results of these much-touted efforts are almost nowhere to be seen.
I often attempt to ponder over this concern holistically. Many questions, answers, solutions to this problem bubble in my mind.
Is it government, teachers, students, or the parents, who are at fault? Who is responsible for this mess government schools are in? After thorough thinking and taking all the pros and cons into consideration, I am convinced that by and large, all the stakeholders share a part of responsibility some major others less.
Here I am deliberating on the major ones.
Those who share the main responsibility are undoubtedly the teachers serving in these institutions. Teachers should pursue to bring about an effective change and resuscitate these critically endangered structures. A teacher should be honest and committed to the cause of imparting quality education and ensuring the overall development of a child. Teachers have a big responsibility to restore the faith of the parents in the government schools in this competitive era.
A sense of responsibility, sincere, painstaking and concerted efforts by the government teachers will surely restore the glory of the government schools and faith of the parents as well. As a result, parents will feel motivated to admit their wards in government rather than the private schools which with exceptions have mostly become the exploitation hubs. Most importantly, people who cannot afford expensive private education for the wards will get access to quality education. A commitment and sincerity of a teacher should be such that even if there is no one to hold them accountable, they should perform their duty with utmost sincerity. No doubt teachers are also faced with infrastructural deficiencies and the issue of the poor parental care of wards, but they ought give their extra bit to bring a positive change in the lives of the students.
The second big responsibility lies on the government. There is no doubt about the sheer negligence and lackadaisical attitude of the government when it comes to holding teachers accountable for their responsibility and academic outcomes. One fails to understand when government teachers can crack cognitive examinations and interviews to get into the teaching job, Why do they miserably fail to upgrade and uplift the educational standards in the schools? Why do they fail to deliver effectively and impressively? What makes them so derelict when it comes to delivering dut?
It is quite obvious that they take their responsibility very lightly the result of which is reflected by the poor performance of their students at all platforms including the board examinations. This is not true for all the teachers there are the teachers who are very honest and sincere in performing their professional duties but I strongly believe that their number, unfortunately, is quite less that is the reason government schools are in such a mess. Most teachers kill their conscience and leverage a lack of accountability to their advantage.
In conclusion, honesty and commitment by the teachers coupled with proper accountability by the government will certainly change the plight of the government educational institutions both in academic performance and reining the roll slumping.
—The author can be reached at [email protected]