This year many government run high and higher secondary schools displayed outstanding performance in SSLC and Plus Two public examinations, much to the delight of the education department officials, teachers and parents.
Given that most of the government schools are located in rural areas with limited facilities, and prepare large numbers of students for the examinations, registering cent per cent results was no small achievement.
The performance has more to do with the grit of students belonging to the weaker sections of the society to prove their mettle.
In the central region comprising eight revenue districts, 24 government schools in the Plus Two and 146 government schools in the SSLC examinations achieved cent per cent results.
School heads are desirous of motivation by the Government by way of recognition of performance. In fact, some of the schools have been maintaining the record of cent per cent results for years.
“The government has not recognised the performance of such schools so far and the effort put in by the headmasters and teachers, goes unnoticed. Recognition in the form of incentives will go a long way in motivating not only the teachers, but also the rural students in sustaining the success story and for further the achievement,” opined academicians and parents.
There is no denying of the fact that infrastructure facilities in a majority of the government schools are inadequate.
Parent-Teacher Associations play an active role in creating additional facilities and employing additional teachers amidst funds constraints. But these shortcomings have not deterred the performing government schools.
“When the education department initiates action against head masters for poor performance in public examinations, there is no reason why the outstanding schools and its teachers and head masters should go unrecognised,” says S. Muthulakshmi, a former teacher of a private school in the city.
The government should evolve a policy of sanctioning incentive to the government schools which would bring out outstanding performance.
The prize money must be Rs. 2 lakhs to schools registering 100 per cent pass, and Rs. 1 lakh for those that manage to secure pass percentage of more than 90 per cent.
The subject teachers have to be recognised with state awards. This will give the necessary fillip to the schools and teachers, according to P. V. Devaraj, a former headmaster of the Government Higher Secondary School.
He cited the instance of the Puducherry government providing incentive of Rs. 1 lakh to the rural schools that secure overall pass of 90 per cent and above in the public exams, and to the urban schools that notch up cent per cent.
The inadequate infrastructure facilities in government schools could be gauged from the fact that many schools do not have separate rooms for the headmasters.
A student of a government girls’ high school at Peralam in Tiruvarur district managed to get the state second rank in the SSLC examinations in 2007. The irony is that the school she studied had only ten class rooms for ten classes and no room for the headmaster and staff and no toilet facility.
The incentive, Mr. Devaraj said, could be utilised to improve infrastructure, particularly in schools with inadequate classrooms.