Goa to go for revamp of schools to arrest drop in standards

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Alarmed at the drop in standards of quality school education, the Goa government has started revamping the present system right from keeping track of students, teachers and also starting remedial classes for the weaker students.

Sources informed that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who also holds the Education Ministry portfolio, has asked the officials to monitor all the activities and take steps for the betterment of education.

Sawant had said that the central civil services (CCS) conduct would be made applicable to teachers, while warning them to teach full-time and not to conduct any other business.

Education director Shailesh Zingde told IANS that the government and aided school teachers can’t take private tuitions as per law. “Now we have the Tuition Regulation Act, under which one has to register their institution (to take private classes). Through this we come to know who is into conducting tuition. But if any teachers are found doing it, we will definitely take action,” he said.

He also said that teachers from the government schools were conducting remedial classes (in schools) for which they achieved good results.

After conducting a review of the state’s education apparatus with the top officials of the Education department, Sawant had also said that Goa was below the national average according to the findings of the National Achievement Survey report.

“Remedial classes for weaker students are a must. Teachers will have to take at least two hours of classes. Teachers were not doing it, now they will have to do it” Sawant had said.

Sawant has said that the government will keep track of teachers’ attendance by using Geo-based service and they will be asked to take remedial classes after the school hours for the weaker students.

According to Sawant, the state is spending a 12 per cent budget on education.

He said that an agreement has been signed to opt for a Geo-based service to track the activities of teachers in schools. “Teacher tracking will be done. Through this education department will come to know what time they come and what time they leave”, he said.

He said that till 4.30 p.m. teachers will have to take remedial classes. “Goa is number one in infrastructure. Coding and Robotics will also be started and virtual classes are our next step,” Sawant said.

“We cannot just blame the government teachers and government schools. 80 per cent of students study in aided schools. Government provides them grant-in-aid for support. If we are doing this, we want results of some standard,” the Chief Minister said.

“Teachers should be full time teachers. Teachers should not have any other businesses. We are paying for them,” Sawant said.

Sawant said that since the government pays for the salaries and other grant-in-aid support, aided schools were also needed to shore up their performance.

The National Achievement Survey (NAS) is a survey of students’ learning undertaken by the Ministry of Education. It has found that the Goan students have fared poorly as compared to the national average in math, languages, social sciences and sciences.

“In math we are below the national average… The national average is 32 per cent and we are 30 per cent for Class 10. In Class 8, the national average is 36 per cent and we are at 32 per cent. In Class 5, the national average is 44 per cent and we are 39 per cent,” Sawant said.

“Some teachers do a good job, but when the national achievement survey report says we are below national average, it is not good from the perspective of students, especially when it comes to math, social science, science,” Sawant said.

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