School clusters set up in Kashmir dissolved after single session

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Srinagar, Feb 13: School Education Department has dissolved clusters in the education zones, even as the teachers argue that they had resulted in a “remarkable improvement” in the quality of education.
The department had, in 2015, established the clusters of 5-10 primary, middle, and high schools across the state.
Each cluster was supervised by a higher secondary school, which was designated as a “model school”.
The principals of the model schools were to have “supervisory powers over all the schools in the cluster”.
However, the School Education Department has dissolved the clusters, as per the insiders.
The decision, they said, was taken after the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) and Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) objected to the initiative, as they had to “share powers with the principals” of the model schools.
While the CEOs and ZEOs were asked to look after the administrative affairs, the principals of the model schools, as per the insiders,were given powers to supervise the academic work at the constituent cluster schools.
“However, the arrangement worked for a single session,” an insider said. Calling the clusters a “good experiment”, several teachers from higher secondary schools in the valley said that quality of education had improved in the constituent schools.
“It was a good initiative. The academic side had improved very much in the schools,” a teacher said.
There were 3-4 clusters in each education zone in the state, with each model higher secondary school supervising 5-10 constituent schools, an official said.
The official from the department, however, said, “The school clusters were dissolved because the principals of the model schools ignored their own schools while supervising the constituent schools in the cluster under their supervision.”
While the School Education Department had asked legislators representing the area to adopt at least one model school along with its cluster and support the same from their Constituency Development Funds, officials said that the latter did not provide any funds to the
clusters. “Although the legislators adopted some model schools on papers, but they did not support them financially,” a teacher said. Minister for Education, Altaf Bukhari, and Secretary School Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah, could not be contacted for comments.

 

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