Assam Government moves to amalgamate & merge schools at all levels
The Government of Assam is going to implement ‘Siksha Khetra Scheme’ for the amalgamation and merger of schools at various levels including the governmenrt-run
'SIKSHA KHETRA SCHEME' ON THE CARDS ACROSS STATE
GUWAHATI: The Government of Assam is going to implement 'Siksha Khetra Scheme' for the amalgamation and merger of schools at various levels including the governmenrt-run LP (Lower Primary), ME (Middle English), High Schools and also Senior Secondary Schools.
In this regard, the office memorandum was issued by the Principal Secretary of the Secondary Education, Assam, B.Kalyan Chakravarty, on August 3.
Mentionably, the establishment of primary schools in every habitation across the country was driven by the SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) — now subsumed under the SSS (Samagra Shiksha Scheme), and other State schemes. The move has also helped to ensure near-universal access to primary schools for all students, it has also led to the development of numerous small schools.
The small size of such schools has made these grassroots-level educational institutions economically sub-optimal and operationally complex to function. This is especially in terms of the deployment of teachers and on the allottmenty and utilisation of the critical physical resources. Moreover, the teachers often teach multiple grades at a time, and cater to multiple subjects, including those subjects in which they may have no prior background.
The office memorandum added, "Key areas such as music, arts, and sports are too often simply not taught; and physical resources, such as lab and sports equipment and library books, are simply not available in most of these small schools.
"The confinement of such small schools has a negative effect on the entire teaching-learning process as teachers function best in communities and teams, and so do students. Small schools also present a systemic challenge for governance and management. The geographical dispersion, challenging access conditions, and the very large numbers of schools make it difficult to reach all the schools equally.
"Administrative structures have not been aligned with the increase in the number of schools or with the unified structure of the 'Samagra Shiksha Scheme'."
The office memrandum pointed out, "The Department has been receiving various proposals for amalgamation of different categories of schools, which are still pending due to the absence of a clear policy in this regard. It has been found that there are many common campuses or close areas where different categories of schools viz., Higher Secondary School, High School, ME School and even LP school exist under different administrations.
"Despite the location of these institutions being in the same campus or nearby place, these schools are run individually with separate class routines and other individual academic functioning. In such a system; the services of teachers of one school are not shared for the student of another school even in need. The shortage of teachers of one school is not addressed by the teachers of another school.
"On the other hand, in the private sector, the schools are mostly composite schools having classes right from LKG/KG to XIl standard which facilitates economy in administration with optimization of human resources and also provides a platform for linkage of education among different levels or standards.
"Moreover, many schools provincialized under the 'Assam Venture Educational Institution (Provincialisation of Services) Act-2011 and 'The Assam Education (Provincialisation of Services of Teachers and Re-organisation of Educational Institution) Act-2017 as amended up to 2018, have low enrolment and require merger with another school for effective administration and academic improvement.
SENIORITY: The proposal specifically states that "Seniority in age shall be taken into consideration for detenination of the seniority. The other Principal/Headmaster shall be the ex-officio Principal/Headmaster with the post personal to him; and he/she shall continue to get his pay in the existing status till retirement or till posting elsewhere.
"The name of the 'Base School' to which other schools are merged, shall stand. However, the joint session of all the SMCs (School Managing Committees) shall decide the name with the approval of the DLC (District Level Committee).
"The movable or ummovable property of the schools shall be vested in the name of the 'Base School' after the merger.
"The Assistant Teachers and other staff of the schools shall be the employees of the 'Base School'.
"The excess teaching and non-teaching employees shall be posted elsewhere against vacant posts with their seniority of the earlier school."
TEACHERS & ACADEMIC SESSIONS: The proposal adds: "After amalgamation, the teachers of the amalgamated school shall take classes as stated below:
"Teachers of the existing LP (Lower Primary) School in classes I to V; Teachers of the existing ME (Middle English) School classes from classes I to VII; Teachers of the existing High Schools in classes from VI to X; and also teachers of the existing HSS (Higher Secondary Schools/ Senior Secondary Schools in VI to XII
GRADATION LIST: The proposal added, "Each of the teachers shall be the teacher of the higher school after amalgamation or merger. Their status will be revised. After amalgamation/merger the gradation list of school or district, as the case may be, has to be revised by incorporating the names of teachers against the higher school in accordance with his/her qualification and status. He/she will get the seniority as before, and his/her name has to be placed in the appropriate place, in such a way that he/she does not lose his/her seniority.
Moreover, there shall be one committee at the Block level; and another at the District level to find out the schools which are eligible for amalgamation/merger.
The recommendations will be based in view of the provision of the RTE (Right To Education) Act and norms laid down by SSA, which are as follows:
(A) At BLC (Block Level Committee) — both for Secondary and Elementary sectors — the DEEO (District Elementary Education Officer) will be the Chairman while all the BEEOs (Block Elementary Education Officers of the respective district will be its 'Members'.
Moreover, the IS (Inspector of Schools) will nominate to the panel two educationists — preferably a retired Principal or Head Master (HM) — and a working Principal/ Headmaster.
The DLC (District Level Committee) will comprise the Additional Deputy Commissioner in-charge Education as its Chairman; the IS (Inspector of Schools) as its 'Member-Secretary'; the DEEO (District Elementary Education Officer).
The Members of the panel will be a retired Principal of Higher Secondary or a Member of the Senior Secondary School as the panel Member; a working Principal of the Higher Secondary School or Senior Secondary School; a working Head Master of High School.
DISTRICT LEVEL COMMITTEE (FOR SIXTH SCHEDULED AREAS): This panel will comprise the Principal Secretary of Autonomous District Council or the Deputy Commissioner of the District as authorized by the Autonomous Council as its Chairman; the IS as Member-Secretary; the DEEO and a retired Principal of Higher Secondary or a Member of a Senior Secondary School, and a working Principal of a Higher Secondary School or a Senior Secondary School as its 'Members'.