Is the State government implementing G.O 76 in haste?
HYDERABAD: One would not have known the existence of so many government schools in the city but for the recent controversies surrounding them. So far inconspicuous in the city crevices, they have been stirred up by G.O. 76 on to the roads and into the headlines. Teachers, their organisations, MLCs and voluntary associations are all united in condemning the measures being implemented in the name of the G.O.
The order in brief entails parallel implementation of CBSE syllabus with English medium in the upper primary sections of 6,500 high schools all over the State under the SUCCESS scheme of Central government. It also orders the shifting of the upper primary sections(sixth and seventh classes) from Upper Primary Schools lying within the two-kilometre vicinity to the high school.
Adding fuel to the fire, District Collector Navin Mittal in his own capacity decided to club schools functioning in the same complex or vicinity to “rationalise the use of facilities”. Further, instead of shifting mere upper primary sections, he allegedly shifted UP schools in their entirety to high school premises. Incidentally merger of schools is not part of the SUCCESS scheme that merely envisages the strengthening of secondary education in the country.
“Schools coming under the scheme should have a minimum strength of 60 per class. Upper primary sections of many high schools fall short of this strength. Hence the merger of upper primary sections from other schools,” says N. Narayana, General Secretary of A.P.United Teachers Federation.
While decision towards CBSE syllabus is more or less welcomed by all the stakeholders, the haste shown in its implementation draws flak. There was hardly a month’s gap between the stake holders’ meetings and the announcement of G.O.
“They could have taken it up as a pilot project in a few schools. Textbooks are not available and teachers are not well-trained to instruct in English. Recent recruits with M.A.(Litt) qualification were selected as resource persons to train senior teachers,” says B.Bhujanga Rao, the District President, State Teachers Union. That the State has not so far sought affiliation from CBSE strengthens Mr. Rao’s claim. The G.O. requires the resource persons to be sent to either the EFLU or Regional Institute of English in Bangalore, which was not done. No orientation towards the CBSE curriculum has been conducted so far. Problems associated with transition from Telugu Medium to English Medium remain unaddressed.
CBSE syllabus though on the face of it is a progressive step, the haste in implementation should be seen in the larger perspective of privatisation of education, says D.P. Chandrasekhar from COVA.
“Talk about public-private partnership in education is already doing rounds. There is a much bigger conspiracy than meets the eye.
It seeks to prove the government schools ineffective and then hand over them to the private sector in a platter,” he says.
None of the chosen schools with their pitiful facilities and infrastructure will be able to meet the norms set by CBSE. District authorities promise to develop infrastructure, but that leaves one wondering if the G.O. could not wait till everything was put in place.