6439chapter XV

Document Sample
6439chapter XV Powered By Docstoc
					                                   CHAPTER XV


Additional areas to be addressed

      Most of the important issues which need to be addressed for effecting a total
system change were identified and dealt with in the earlier sections of this Report. The
present section has been intended to deal with a number of residual issues which have
not been covered in the earlier sections. Recommendations in respect of these issues
are presented below.

Preliminary work for setting up the SCSE and the Commissionerate of

       The administrative exercises for reorganizing the system should begin with the
promulgation of an ordinance, to create the apex body for controlling school education
in the state – the State Council for School Education. The Ordinance can be converted
into an Act through an appropriate legislation following the formalities prescribed for
the purpose. The new body should take up the preliminary work of constituting the
State Commissionerate of Education as proposed in the Report. The Special Secretary
for General Education shall also function as the Commissioner for School Education.
The office of the State Commissionerate of Education shall function under the
Commissioner for School Education in an office independent of the office of the
Secretary for General Education, which should continue to function in the Government
Secretariat as at present. But there should be a separate office for the

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
Commissionerate which will function with a key staff and a few senior officers,
adopting the pattern suggested in this Report. This phase of the work should be
completed within a specified time of one year, on the basis of a resolution by the SCSE
in its first meeting.
       The State Commissionerate of Education will function as part of the office of the
State Council for School Education. The office of the Chairman, Vice Chairman and the
Commissioner for School Education shall all be located in the same office. The team of
senior functionaries and specialists working directly under the State Commissioner for
School Education shall also have their office in the same building.
       The two offices, office of the SCSE and the State Commissionerate for School
Education, should start functioning once the policy for creating the Council is accepted
by the Government. The maximum time to be spent for the initial preparations should
not normally exceed three months. The Ordinance should have sufficient protective
clauses to take care of the formalities to be observed by the SCSE for running the
system. The office should have IT-based management systems and other essential
facilities in place, at the time of inauguration. The official procedures to be adopted
should be laid down in the appropriate Handbooks to be prepared by the SCSE within a
period of three months. The new building complex for housing the Commissionerate
should have all modern facilities like teleconferencing and other technological support
systems used in modern office management.
       The senior positions in the Commissionerate could be filled up by temporary
appointments for the first 3-5 years from a panel of specialists identified by the SCSE in
consultation with the Government till permanent arrangements are made for filling up
such posts, from the State Education Service/the State Subordinate Education Service.
       The office of the SCSE, the Commissionerate, etc should all be located in the
same campus. This campus should also have facilities for housing the different
Directorates of Education. It will be ideal if a campus of about 20-30 acres is identified
in one of the suburban areas around the capital. The new campus should be a self-
contained multi- storied campus with facility for expansion – construction of living
quarters and other support facilities for the staff and their families. The campus should
be selected within 15-20 kilometers outside the capital city, in an area which has bus

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
connection with the capital. The new campus has to be designed by specialists in
educational architecture to accommodate the office and living quarters of the entire
staff and their families, including a school and a health centre.
       The Regional District and Sub-District offices under the Commissionerate should
also be located in the campuses located in the appropriate centres with all facilities as
in the case of the Commissionerate. The Commissionerate should take the initiative to
develop all basic facilities to these offices to ensure efficient system performance.

Reorganizing the Educational Regions, Districts and Sub-Districts

       The administration of education in the state is currently organized with 14
Educational Regions, 36 Educational Districts and 161 Educational Sub-Districts. The
head of the administration of each Educational Region should be a Deputy Director of
Education, that of an Educational District should be a Senior Education Officer and that
of an Educational Sub-District should be an Educational Officer. The offices and its
heads are to be renamed as recommended in the Report.
       The number of High Schools under a District Educational Officer (renamed
Senior Education Officer) currently varies from 43-101. The number of Primary Schools
under an Assistant Education Officer varies from 60-100. This inequitable distribution
cannot be justified on any account even when we concede that in many Districts/Sub
districts, the distance between schools vary considerably. The unequal distribution of
schools affects the quality of administration at the District and Sub-District levels. Even
assuming that after the reorganization the head of a District/Sub-District will be the
administrative head of all the schools in the area, to be assisted by other academic
officers, it is too much to expect that an officer from the head office of the area will be
able to supervise effectively the running of anything more than 50-60 schools at a time,
especially when we note that the district/ sub district offices are to be made
accountable for the equality of performance of the schools under them. The Districts
and Sub-Districts therefore should be reorganized to cover about 55-60 schools. This
would mean the creation of a number of new positions. The staff allocation by the new
administrative offices is to be recalculated on the assumption that it will be a service

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
centre for about 55 schools at a time. Additional posts (with new designations) and the
supporting posts as suggested in the present Report should be created for the purpose
within two months of the creation of the SCSE.
       The head of the district administration (educational district) shall be renamed
Senior Education Officer (SEO). He will be assisted by three Education Officers (EO’s).
The Education Regions should also be reorganized appropriately to cater to the needs
of nearly an equal number of schools. The staff pattern and other details of the
functioning of the Education Districts and Education Sub-Districts will have to be
worked out by the SCSE before such offices are restructured into the new pattern.
       The head of each region shall be the Deputy Director of Education (DDE) as at
present. He will be assisted by two senior Officers of the rank of SEO’s/Subject Experts
each of whom will look after the academic administration and the office administration
of each Region. The whole system of administration should be reconceived with focus
on academic administration, where the responsibility for quality maintenance will be
left to the institutions. The role of the higher officers will be to provide the needed
inputs for their restructuring, and prepare the rules for system functioning and
improvement. The academic supervisory staff is expected to act as resource persons to
provide the higher expertise for helping the institutions to utilize the advanced
methodologies and strategies for maintaining standards, laid down by the SCSE and its
subsidiary units.

Correcting imbalances in the access to education of tribal children and children
from culturally deprived groups

       From the information available to the Commission, it is obvious that there are a
few areas in Kerala (especially tribal areas and certain similar inaccessible culturally
alienated areas) which are not adequately served by education. Examples of such areas
are: Nilambur (Malappuram District), Vandoor (Malappuram District), Malakapra and
Chaipankuzi (Thrissur district) and some areas of Kasargode District. Some of these
areas do not even have the facility for lower primary schooling. We have to start new
schools in such areas (especially in the light of the new RTE Act, 2009) if we can find a

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
sizable number of students to justify the running a school in these areas. It will be most
appropriate if we start a separate State Tribal Residential School which will provide
free school education (from Pre-School to Standard XII) to tribal children from all
educationally backward areas. These schools should provide free boarding facilities,
free supply of other basic needs like dress, books, etc. and pocket allowances for travel
and other living expenses. Additional funds for the purpose are likely to be available
from the funds provided by the Central Government, in pursuance of the RTE Act.
       There are a number of areas in the state lacking in adequate educational facility
beyond a certain level. There will be a Lower Primary/Elementary School but there will
not be any provision to go beyond this level. There are other areas where there are
schools providing education up to the Upper Primary stage, but not beyond.
Government is unwilling to upgrade the existing Lower Primary/ Upper Primary Schools
in such areas because there will be only be a small number of students in the locality
who desire for the next higher stage of education. The needs of all such areas should
be met by attracting all tribal students who wish to proceed to the higher stages in
different parts of the state and put them in a new institution – The State Tribal
Residential School located in a suitable place within this area. The expenses for starting
a number of schools with small student enrolment can be pooled to start one single
institution with all modern facilities, including residential facilities. New administrative
policies are to be worked out to achieve the goals stated above. The benefits of grants
from the new RTE Act, 2009, and central grants meant for the education of tribal
children, children from culturally deprived groups can be tapped for this purpose.
       The question of improving the facilities for Higher Secondary Education in some
districts of the State also needs to be addressed. A survey has to be conducted by the
SCSE for identifying the areas which need such schools. The possibility of covering
some of these needs through the Open School System can also be taken up by the
SCSE, in a planned and systematic fashion. The State Government can utilize the
services of some of the enlightened service organizations (with a long track-record of
educational service in running Aided Schools) can be used for starting new institutions
in such areas. They can also be considered for starting of new aided schools with

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
exemptions given to them from the conditions regarding minimum enrolment, and
other such formalities.

Guidance and Counselling in Schools

       All modern school systems have introduced guidance as a supplementary
educational service for meeting the specialized needs of individual students in diverse
areas. Guidance service is essential for meeting individual needs in three areas:
vocational, personal and educational. The three forms of guidance (vocational
guidance, personal guidance and educational guidance) are to be provided in every
school in the state. These services have relevance for all stages of education.
       Guidance will help children in Pre-School and Elementary Schools to adjust
better to new school environment, the people in the system and the rules and
observances prescribed for the working of schools. This would normally imply help in
developing different kinds of adjustments. The imbalances when unattended will
become visible in the form of unruly and aggressive behaviour or as withdrawing
behavior, and often leads to dislike for schools and schooling. Such children are likely
to create disciplinary problems in schools. Guidance during this stage will help to
correct such behaviours early enough and will also help to identify inadequacies in
learning readiness, basic language skills and basic mathematical skills of students.
Guidance support will help students to make the necessary behavioural corrections at
appropriate points of time. There should be at least one teacher in every Elementary
School who had at least a short exposure (a course of 3 months duration in the SCERT
or a University Department) to student guidance. This teacher should have the
competence to take care of behavioral problems of children and get them corrected
either through his direct intervention or with the help of specialists outside the system,
identified by him.
       At the higher levels, guidance will be needed to tackle a broader range of
behavioral problems, correcting maladjustments of varying degree, including problems
emanating from adolescent development, sex needs, job placement, etc. in addition to
help to students for dealing with the problems they face in their learning. Dealing with

                          Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
problems like dyslexia, dysgraphia, learning exceptionalities, etc. all requires help by
specialists. Many students face problems connected with their vocational and
educational preparation for entering suitable vocations, which normally require the
help of specialist guidance workers. Dealing with problem areas like the above requires
a very high degree of specialization. Every secondary school should have at least one
full time Guidance Officer cum Counsellor, with professional qualifications in education
and guidance. It is best if the Guidance Officer is selected from the ranks of a senior
teacher who holds a master’s degree in psychology with additional specialization in
Guidance and Counselling. The SCSE should start special courses in the NCERT to create
specialist guidance workers to cater to the needs of all the schools in the state. The
Guidance Officer should be assisted by one or two junior staff members who have also
received short training in guidance. These teachers, to be designated Junior
Counsellors, will work as part time assistants to the Guidance Officer. The Guidance
Unit should have basic facilities like Counselling Rooms, Educational Information
Centres, and facilities for psychological testing, and career counselling.
       The Guidance Unit of the school is also expected to help the school in
conducting psychological tests whenever needed and maintain the Cumulative Record
Cards of all students, besides providing the three forms of guidance to students –
educational, vocational and personal guidance. The service of this unit will have to be
extended to include career guidance and placement of students in higher education
courses and for channelizing students into proper vocations. This unit will also be
responsible for helping all students for developing proper study habits and for
maintaining a high degree of mental health. The SCSE is to prepare a Handbook for
School Guidance Services, to spell out the details of the activities and the procedures
to be adopted for the purpose by this unit.

Health supports for school children

       All schools in the state should have a Health Visitor assisted by a team of
medical doctors to attend to the general health of all the students enrolled in them.
The Health Visitor is to conduct periodic health checks of students, at least twice in an

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
academic year. The Health Visitor and his team should collaborate with the school staff
to help the parents in correcting the defects noticed during health inspection, within a
short time it is detected. The teacher in charge of Physical and Health Education should
be made responsible for this aspect of school work.
      Basically, every child should be tested using modern procedures like adequacy
of physical and sensory development and be assessed using measures of intelligence,
aptitudes and personality, all measured using scientific procedures. Proper corrections
should be effected at appropriate intervals. Early detection of defects in vision,
hearing, speech and health deficiencies like dental diseases, dietary deficiencies and
other such inadequacies will help in correcting the noticed deficiencies. Dietary
deficiencies are known to affect proper brain development and hence need early
detection and correction. The Parent Teacher Association, The School Development
Board, etc. can help in providing noon meals with proper nutrients free to children
from below-poverty level. The Health Visitor, the Guidance Officer and the Physical
Education Teacher can collaborate in developing appropriate corrections wherever
      The Health Visitor can help the school to provide a medical team whose service
can be made available for attending to the health problems of both students, teachers
and non-teachers of the institution. It is widely known that poor mental health of
teachers affect their teaching performance and their classroom behaviour. Hence there
should be sound medicare services operated for teachers as a basic input for quality
improvement of schools.
      The SCSE should collaborate with the State Health Department and evolve a
new health policy where the Department will start a separate health centre for the
service of the school system in each Sub-District, with SCSE support.

Character education

       Character education is essentially education for helping the young students to
develop accepted behavior patterns in dealing with others in society. This concept,
when broadly interpreted, will stand for the ‘fourth pillar of education’ suggested in

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
the UNESCO Report (Learning: The Treasure Within, 1999) – “learning               to live with
others”. This term stands for a positive attitude of accepting others, and cooperating
with them. It has also been interpreted as an important component of ‘Lifeskill
Education’, suggested for inclusion in the school curriculum.
       The curriculum should have a strong component of character education. Often
the basic principles governing character education will have to be deduced from the
basic principles embedded in Indian culture, as defined in the Indian Constitution.
Indian culture fortunately represents the essence of all the great principles enunciated
by the great social thinkers and leaders of the past, and covers the essence of the
teachings of all the important world religions. These principles have a common core
acceptable to all human societies. There is a usual tendency to identify character
education with religious education, moral education, civic education etc. But we can
think of a character education which goes beyond the boundaries of religious
teachings. ‘Character Education’ and ‘Value Education’ provided in democratic school
systems and in multi-religious countries like India should be secular in nature. This is
not to be interpreted as a justification for rejection of all religious, but as a justification
for synthesizing the best in different religions. Secularism is not to be practised by a
total rejection of all the great principles upheld by the great religious. It should be used
as a solid philosophy of giving equal importance to all religions and their teachings
incorporating all that is best in every religion and in differing schools of social thought.
The state is expected to be neutral in its dealings with religions.
        We have to evolve a new model of character education for the country which
expects every citizen to act as if the society around him/her is him/her own family, and
control his/her actions and behavoiur in a manner where the others around him/her
feel that they are fully accepted and respected by him/her. The philosophy of the new
model should be to synthesize what is best in moral education, religious education,
civic education, value education and life-skill education, with special attention paid to
the concept of secularism and democracy and the other great values which Indian
society has upheld over the years. Moral education is used as a method of developing
an ethical mental framework for action, which is also to be given meaning using the
logic of scientific reasoning, based on cause-effect association. We have to evolve a

                          Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
broad mental frame-work for accommodating important principles of life – ideas
drawn from all shades and hues of political, philosophical and social thought – which
we have created an our own culture and have inherited from other cultures. The
interaction should help every human being to internalize the governing principles that
one should accept in dealing with other humans and in deciding the acceptable modes
of action for dealing with differing social situations.
       All students should be inducted into the great ethical principles this country has
evolved over the centuries, and accepted as the governing principles for social action in
all critical areas. Many of them overlap with the rational-ethical principles evolved by
other cultures and different regions. The directive principles enshrined in our
constitution are models of such approaches. We have to create a balanced person who
would accept the great values and principles in their totality. This component of
education (whether we call it as character education or use any other term to describe
it) should be given special importance in curriculum preparation for all stages of
education. The curriculum should be operated in such a manner as to develop a human
being who is willing to accept others and are willing to contribute to the happiness of
others, while pursuing his own life goals.

Special attention to sex education

       Modern education believes that it has the responsibility to prepare children for
the complex behaviours connected with sex adjustments, right from the early stages.
This demands the creation of a scientific knowledge base about sex and its importance
in shaping one’s sexual and social behavior. It is usual to provide the basic knowledge
relating to sex mostly through the curriculum dealing with life sciences. But certain
components of knowledge for this area are to be developed using the curricula in social
sciences and study of literature. Exposure to the basic principles of human sex behavior
can begin even from the lowest level of school education, provided it is developed
carefully without giving room for developing wrong notions or unsatisfactory attitudes
towards sex habits. Sex education in the lower classes has to be conceived as an
informal exposure to sex education. But more specialized exposure has to wait till the

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
children are mature enough to obtain a balanced view of this aspect of human
behavior. This can be done as part of Life skill Education or as Sex Education / Health
Education and also as part of Biology/Health Science or all these. The rationale for
controlled sex behavior can be communicated to young children in a wide variety of
ways. This is best done by integrating this area with areas like population explosion,
environmental imbalances due to unscientific exploitation of natural resources,
controlling the incidence of diseases like the HIV, etc. This is a difficult and sensitive
exercise, and an important responsibility which all systems of education have to take
up. The major concepts and issues have to be introduced in a form suitable for the
consumption of the young students of differing levels of maturity. The finer details
have to be worked out by the SCSE using the services of experts. A special Handbook
(School Handbook for Sex Education) has to be prepared, explaining the underlying
constructs as well as the methodologies to be adopted by teachers for teaching this
subject to students attending different stages of schooling.

Inclusion of supplementary service systems like Boy Scouts/Girl Guides/NCC
and Yoga in schools

       There are a number of organizations, movements and practices which can help
pupils to upgrade the quality of their social and individual behaviour. The Scout
Movement and the NCC are examples of such movements. Yoga is another important
training programme which will stimulate both the physical and mental faculties of
human beings. These movements can play a very useful role in moulding children’s
character and personality as well as their physical and mental health. These areas are
to be practised as an integral part of the general school curriculum. Every student
should be required to get inducted into at least one of these activities. The training in
these areas will also be useful to develop a sense of national pride and mental
discipline, so essential for building up a strong nation. Performance of students in
these areas should be systematically assessed and recorded in the Cumulative Record
Card to be maintained by the schools. Each service area should be placed under the
charge of a teacher with adequate training in the area. Normally teachers with proper

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
leadership qualities alone should be selected for training and leadership in the above

A new approach to Youth Festival

         Youth festivals have become an inseparable part of the co-curricular activities of
Kerala school children. The festivals help to bring out the hidden talents and the vast
potentials in the students. Youth festivals are to be conducted in a manner most
appropriate for demonstrating creative expression using different media. The youth
festivals are to be encouraged for their roles in helping students in their over all
development. But there are certain criticisms about the way these festivals are
organised. The Youth Festivals in Kerala are to be practiced more professionally with
proper training given to all eligible participants under the control of the school. The
way it is practiced at present, the competitions degenerate into competition between
children of rich and poor parents. Rich parents train their children under top
professionals and present them with the help of costly accompaniments, colourful rich
costumes, etc. The role of the school in the competition is almost nil. The competitions
are intented to be practised as a method of identifying talent which needs further
development under school supervision. It will be useful if a suitable member of the
teaching staff of a school is identified and given charge of identifying talented
participants and prepare them for the events. Training should start early enough, by
identifying children with remarkable talents in the different areas included for the
competition. The critics of this practice point out that Youth Festivals have developed a
wrong culture which helps the rich students to move to the top. The way it is practised,
only an exceptionally rich parent can hope to present his/her wards for most of the
events. Top performers are eligible for certain privileges like grace marks, preference in
the selection for higher courses etc. Hence the competitions are to be practised in a
more democratic manner. Entry into these competitions often demand the investment
of substantial amounts as payment to expert trainers, creation of background facilities,
procuring costly ornaments and dresses, etc. The rich and the influential parents get an

                          Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
easy ride over the poor students in the group. The more influential parents often sway
the decisions of the judges who assess student performance.
      There are also criticisms about the way the celebrations are organized and final
judgments are made. There are allegations that there is corruption in the use of funds
allocated for the purpose and even in the selection of judges. Considering all the above
factors, it is suggested that the rules and procedures adopted for organizing youth
festivals should be appropriately altered to make it a competition for detecting real
talents. The extravaganza associated with youth festivals should also be cut down to
make them look like children’s competitions. It will be appropriate if the SCSE develops
a Handbook which prescribes the rules and regulations for conducting youth festivals in
Kerala schools

Learning of Malayalam in schools

       The present practice of permitting school students in Kerala to avoid the
learning of Malayalam, the local language of the state, has come in for considerable
criticisms in recent years. This is an undesirable trend which needs urgent correction.
In all other states in the country, the major official language of the state is a
compulsory subject for all students in their schools, irrespective of the medium of
instruction of the school or the schemes which they follow. Anyone wanting to learn an
additional language (like Tamil or Kannada which are the spoken languages of the
people in certain areas within the state) should be permitted to do so, without skipping
the study of Malayalam. Students in English medium schools of the state generally
avoid the study of Malayalam language. The additional time allotted for the study of
local languages need nor be decreased, but additional time should be found for
teaching these languages using the method suggested in the earlier sections of this
Report – finding extra teaching time, adding one class period either at the beginning or
end of the working time of the school. The additional languages are to be taught using
modern assumptions and to ensure their functional use, using the latest supporting
technologies. Teaching of the spoken language of the area also helps to introduce the
pupils to the culture of the area. This too should be stressed when Malayalam is taught

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
as the main regional language of the state. All other languages including the languages
of linguistic minorities should also be assigned the required teaching time to learn their
mother tongue in the manner suggested entire, if they have been included for study in
the new scheme.
       Ignoring the study of Malayalam by non-Malayalam speaking children in Kerala
schools will affect their career prospects in Kerala. It will also end up in some kind of
cultural alienation of such children from the vast majority of the other people in the
state. Inability to use Malayalam language is likely to convert these children into
second-class citizens in the competitive public activities of the state. Hence all children
in Kerala should accept the need to learn Malayalam on par with the Malayalam-
speaking children of the State with focus on its functional use, irrespective of the other
languages they would like to learn or irrespective of the medium of instruction.

Medium of instruction in Lower Elementary/Lower Primary Schools

       It is necessary to adopt a well-defined policy relating to the medium of
instruction in the Lower Elementary levels (Standards I to V). The ideal practice for
adoption is to begin one’s early education using the mother tongue and wait for the
study of other languages as selection of a different medium of instruction till the basic
skills in the mother tongue get stabilized. This applies to students who wish to change
over to English medium classes for other reasons. Moving over to a medium like
English should be permitted only when the children complete their lower elementary
education in the mother tongue. Introduction of other languages like Hindi or English
should not be permitted till the child has completed at least the first four years in the
mother tongue. Any change in the medium should be permitted only from Standard VI
or higher. A new medium like English should be permitted only when the students who
opt for this change complete a specially designed bridge course in English organized by
the state using the services of experts in English teaching.
       The mother tongue is known to be the ideal medium for the education of the
immature young children who have developed the basic language habits in their
mother tongue. The first lessons in every school subject should be in the mother

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
tongue, if the learning has to take place in a natural setting. Use of other languages as
medium of instruction presents twin difficulties to the new learner – decoding the
symbolism of the new language, and decoding the content of instruction. New learning
in any subject should be built on the initial learning provided through the mother
tongue. These considerations are to be taken up along with the question of giving
greater importance to English in the present-day society.
       Experts in teaching of English as a second language have always supported the
stand that the skills acquired by the children in the mother tongue during the formative
period of their lives will help them to adjust easily to the demands of learning a new
language like English, even when they own that English language has a language
structure and pronunciation style different from that of the Malayalam language.
Malayalam during early stages can be treated as the foundation for learning of English
as well as for developing the basic learning in subjects like Mathematics or History and
for internalizing the basic concepts implied in the learning of subjects like Science or
Social Studies. Language skills learnt earlier in the mother tongue will support the
teaching of the basic skills in languages like English and any other language included in
the curriculum.

Special training for teachers of English

      Since a substantial number of students in the state system are likely to change
over from the local language (mainly Malayalam) to English at the beginning of
Standard VI, the system has to adopt special measures for giving special training to
English teachers (teaching spoken English in Elementary Schools and English in Higher
Elementary Schools and teachers of other subjects in English medium schools at the
Higher Elementary Schools or higher). The SCERT has to organize special courses for
upgrading the professional competency of teachers in English by launching a series of
in-service programmes through distance modes (with instructional CD’s supplied to all
schools). Special increments should be recommended for those who complete this
course and acquire this qualification – Certificate in Teaching of English (C.T.E). The
course should give special stress to the use of chaste spoken form of English language.

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
Subject teachers in the English medium schools should also be given a strong
orientation for teaching their subjects in the English language. Substandard teaching of
English language will do more harm than good to the new generation learners. A new
cadre of English teachers, with thorough grounding in the spoken and written aspects
of the language will have to be developed. We also have to think of creating a new
generation of English teachers through proper pre-service education. This has to be
adopted as a state policy. The above observations do not preclude the possibility of
starting conversational practice in spoken English (video-supported) in standard IV and
V as a first introduction to the learning of English. Formal introduction to English
teaching can begin in Standard VI. There are modern research studies which show that
teaching a new language becomes easier and the duration of the course can be
decreased if we permit the skills in the mother tongue to stabilize, and then start the
teaching of the new language, even when the new language has to be practised using
differing language habits. Any new language, other than the mother tongue, should
not normally be introduced during the first 2-3 years of schooling since this is known to
distort the learning of the mother tongue itself, and in the long run the learning of the
new language.

Panel of Experts for overseeing the functioning of different Directorates

      Each of the new Directorates should have a Panel of Experts which will advice it
on policy formulation and oversee the execution of the policies. The Panel of Experts is
to be constituted by the SCSE in consultation with the Government. The Panel should
meet at least once in three months and record its observations relating to the progress
of the work performed by the Directorates, especially in implementing the time-bound
policies. The concerned Director shall be the Member-Secretary of this Panel.

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
SCERT to be developed as a Centre of Excellence in School Education

        The Kerala SCERT should be restructured to function as a Centre of Excellence
in School Education for the whole country. This would mean that the SCERT should be
reorganized on the pattern of other Centres of Excellence under the UGC. When the
University of Pedagogic Sciences is instituted, the SCERT should be given the status of
its major operational limb. The SCERT should be helped to achieve the level maintained
by the Centres of Excellence under the UGC. The academic staff of the SCERT should
be comparable in their qualifications and achievements with the academic staff in the
University Departments of Education and the NCERT.

Agency for accreditation of school-level educational institutions

       The practice of accrediting educational institutions in the school education
sector is to be introduced in the state as an effective mechanism for quality control of
education. Currently there is provision only for accrediting higher education
institutions in the country. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
set up by the UGC for accrediting institutions of higher education in the country has
been charged with the duty of accrediting colleges and universities of the country. It is
on record that the functioning of the NAAC has contributed significantly to the quality
of higher education, including the upgrading of teacher qualifications and functioning
styles of institutions and in improving the infrastructural facilities in higher education.
Extending the system of accreditation to school education will help schools to get
expert concrete directions for upgrading quality. Creation of an accrediting body will
help schools to develop operational definitions of quality (parameters defining quality)
and use them for redefining their activities.
       The new body (to be named the Kerala School Accreditation Board – KSAB)
should start functioning within about 3 months from the inception of the SCSE. All
schools in the state (Government, Government Aided and Government Recognized
schools following the Kerala state syllabus and the schools following the CBSE and ICSE

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
schemes and other possible schemes to be started in future in the State) should all be
statutorily compelled to obtain accreditation if they have to function legally as
approved and or recognized educational institutions within the state. The modalities
used for accrediting institutions of higher education (physical facilities, teacher
qualifications, the academic staff structure and size, efficacy of instructional
transactions and teacher performance, innovative strategies adopted, setting new
standards, etc) are very much applicable to the school system with minor changes. But
this should be redefined for the school context and readapted for application to
different category of schools. It is of interest to note that the NAAC practices have
been accepted all over the country by now. The colleges have started the use of
practices like teacher-rating by students, institutional assessment by experts, liaison of
institutions with reputed institutions else where, etc. There is no reason why these
practices should not be extended to school education in the state. This has to be done
with appropriate changes, wherever needed.

State Corporation for preparing educational materials and accessories

       The Government should take the initiative to set up a new society in the
cooperative sector – State Corporation for Educational Materials Development (SC-
EMD). This organization should be entrusted with the work of supplying quality
educational materials to students as well as materials and media support for practice
of the new generation education to be introduced in the state, at cheap rates. This
state-sector enterprise besides providing quality materials at competitive rates can also
function as an agency for generating additional funds for the developmental activities
of the schools of the state.
       The materials to be supplied – school bags, note books, reference books,
umbrellas, dress and dress materials, shoes, watches, geometric instrument boxes,
calculators, pens, and other writing materials, water colour, text books, additional
reading materials, computers, etc – can all be ordered and purchased in bulk by the
Society from private manufacturers to begin with, to be followed by direct
manufacturing of some of these materials after a few years. The same organization can

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
in the long run manufacture items like school furniture, laboratory materials, clean
boards, chalk pieces, markers, etc. at competitive rates. The materials should be made
available to students through the School Cooperative Societies at cheap rates. The
capital for the SC-EMD could be raised from shares each of value Rs.100/- to be
collected from students, teachers, teacher organizations, parent-teacher associations
and the general public etc. on the assurance of a guaranteed minimum profit to the
share holders of the society. The question of including private shareholders can also
be thought of. Students admitted as members should be provided attractive
concessions on all the purchases made by them, in addition to the usual profits.
Varying benefits (depending upon the number of shares owned by each
member/organization) should be assured to share holders. It will not be difficult to
generate a substantial capital and a substantial profit to the society within a short time.
The Corporation has to place orders for quality materials with reputed manufacturers
for purchase of items in bulk. The society should also be able to supply other materials
and equipments for the working of the schools – play-school toys, lab-materials,
sports-goods, etc. There should be proper quality checks to obtain quality of the
materials bought by the Corporation, and provide quality services to the client groups.
Students will receive a group of essential items in at a specified cost, well before the
reopening of the schools.
       It will be useful if the distribution of school text books is also made through the
SC-EMD, when the organization has gained sufficient strength. The SC-EMD should be
formed on an understanding that only 50 percent of the profits accruing from a school
would go to the share holders while the remaining 50 percent would be paid to the
State School Development Fund (SSDF) which will be operated by the SCSE to augment
the facilities and infrastructure of schools under State Controlled/Aided and Unaided
Private Schools of the State. The allocation of development of funds to schools could
be made proportional to the number of shares owned by the school.

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
Teacher Welfare Fund

       The resurgence and revitalization of the whole system of education depends
critically upon the creation of a teaching community which accepts the system and in
writing to devote its full attention for augmenting the quality of its functioning. This is
possible only when the teaching community is accorded a preferred treatment and
provided with all basic amenities for leading a satisfactory life. This would imply the
availability of satisfactory housing facilities within easy reach of the school, and
supplementary facilities like personal transport, financial support for children’s
education, facilities for good schooling for children, health care services etc. Ideal
service facilities would help to attract the best talents for a job, and motivate all those
who join to continue in the job. Creating such facilities require the availability of special
funds under the direct control of the SCSE. This can be done partly from the funds
generated by the local education bodies (as suggested earlier) and also from a corpus
fund to be set apart by the Government for teacher welfare activities, as well as from
the funds available through the SSDF.
       The funds should be properly used for schemes like teacher housing, creation of
school transport facilities, loans for children’s education for the employees of the SCSE,
health care of teachers and their families etc. and the other such service supports. It
will be ideal if every school in a locality or a group of schools in a locality develops a
complex for teacher housing, preferably in the form of flats close to or near the school
with all modern facilities. Bank loans secured under Government guarantee can also be
used for the purpose. The occupants should be made responsible for repayment of the
loans within a specified period. The SCSE can think of creating a Teacher Housing
Corporation (THC) which can take up the task of providing housing facilities for
teachers and the school supporting staff, with funds raised from the beneficiaries in
the form of shares, with equal number of shares raised from Government
contributions. It should be possible to rise around 20 crores (at present costs) or more
for each school. The outlay has to be more if a number of schools join togather to form
a single housing colony. The surplus space in a school complex can be used for
constructing multistoried housing complex, without disturbing the working of the

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
institution. There should also be provision for meeting medical treatment charges of
teachers and support staff and their family members. This is possible if the
Government takes initiative in creating an insurance cover under the control of the
SCSE and the Government, through a compulsory insurance scheme. Also, all
teachers/non-teachers in schools should be made eligible for receiving education loans
for their children, commensurate with their needs, including loans for higher study of
their children in other parts of India or even in foreign universities and even for
meeting the expenses for attending job interviews of their children, purchase of
vehicles etc.

Review of salary scales of teachers

      The present pay scales of teachers are inadequate to attract the best talent for
the job. Attempts should be made to ensure that the best teching talent would come
forward to take up teaching jobs at different levels. Even after joining as a teacher, one
has to subject himself/herself to constant performance evaluation. Jobs in the SCSE
should be made attractive enough for even the most talented candidates. We have to
create a new work climate in the state where teaching professions will become one of
the most preferred professions in the state. Considering the ground-level realities, it is
suggested that the following incentives be introduced for teachers and the other
supporting staff recruited for service to the SCSE:
    (i)     Revising the salary scale of teachers’ equivalent jobs in the school system so
            that all teachers will receive a twenty per cent increase in their basic pay till
            revised pay scales are introduced by the SCSE.
    (ii)    The revised scales should follow a national pattern; it should not be less
            than the salary scales prescribed for teachers in Central Government
    (iii)   Other increases like additional allowances for additional qualifications, and
            for performing additional duties, higher salaries based on length of service
            and for superior professional performance (decided on the basis of scientific

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
           performance assessment by competent professional bodies) are also to be
    (iv)   Instituting a few State Teacher Awards (for different category of teachers)
           on the basis of transparent and publicized selection criteria, and considering
           the awardees for selection to the State School Education Service and the
           State Subordinate Education Service, when these new services are

Implementation of the recommendations with public participation

       The recommendations in the present Report (or other such Reports when
accepted by the competent bodies) should be put into the website. Official debates
should be organized to educate the general public about the contents of the Report.
The stakeholders and the general public very often assess the work of the
recommendations using wrong yardsticks like their ideological preferences, political
attitudes, etc. Teachers often assess the implications of the Report by assessing how
the adoption of these recommendations is going to affect their existing service
privileges and their work load. Non teachers in the system have their own perception
of the recommendations.        All the stakeholders should be persuaded to make an
objective assessment of the content of the recommendations with main thrust on the
ideal functioning of the educational system – provide quality education which in turn
will help the system to acquire greater credibility and acceptance as a service system
which can accelerate the country’s development. Any increase in the credibility of the
system will in itself attract more funds for its operation. The teachers should be made
to accept such stand points when they assess the worth of the new recommendations
for changing the system. The practice of this approach in educationally advanced
countries has helped them to implement new recommendations for educational
reform with public acceptance. The improvement of educational quality, once it is
accepted by the community, will help the system to attract bigger flow of funds for its
operation. New policies are to be implemented with due importance given to the

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
development of ideal work conditions for the school staff. This should be one of the
major responsibilities to be taken up by the SCSE.

A permanent system for watching the implementation

       It is a matter of common knowledge that the recommendations of the
education commissions of the past (many of them highly useful recommendations for
quality improvement) have not been properly implemented. They ended up with
academic discussions and the creation of a few new official units in the administrative
offices which helped to create a number of higher posts in different wings of the
education department. The present recommendations, we hope, would not share the
same fate. All future Governments have a moral responsibility to implement the
recommendations of this Commission as well as of other commissions, once it is
accepted by the Government. This Commission would in the context of the present
recommendations suggest that there should be a permanent body in the state to
watch and monitor the implementation of the recommendations made in the present
Report, once it is approved by the Government. It is necessary that an Implementation
Group for Education (IGE) be created for the purpose with Government nominees,
SCSE nominees and a few members of the State Legislative Assembly, and a few
experts in education, meeting twice in a year to assess the adequacy of
implementations and preparing reports about the progress of implementation of the
recommendations.     This report will have to be placed before the Legislature for
information. Such an arrangement will ensure that all the recommendations of the
Report will be implemented properly at appropriate points of time.

Preliminary work for setting up the SCSE

       The Government may take urgent steps to set up an Implementation Cell to
start the preliminary work for setting up the SCSE and also to work out a well-defined
programme of action for initiating the different reforms suggested here. The

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
preliminary work can be initiated soon after the acceptance of the Report by

Improving the functioning of school libraries

       The role of school libraries as centres for independent learning of students is
well-accepted. The library in most schools is functioning as a weak appendage of the
system of education. The critical role that it can play in providing reference materials,
reading materials and as source of internet-information makes it a very important
centre for information accessing for students. The new projects to be introduced for
group work, practising strategies like cooperative learning, conducting class projects,
etc. all depend to a great extent upon the availability of a properly conceived Library
cum Information Resource Centre. All school libraries should be reequipped to perform
the new functions expected of them. Students who are unable to meet the additional
expenses for buying costly books and develop computer-internet facilities on their own
must be enabled to depend upon school libraries for information accessing. The centre
is to be renamed ‘Library and Information Resource Centre’, and placed under a
qualified librarian, or a teacher with special training in library and ICT services. The
technical facilities, including internet connection, reprographic facilities etc are to be
provided according to a priority list to be developed by the SCSE. Every school has to
make provision for timely purchase of all the essential books and equipments. The
maintenance of equipments should also receive the special attention of school
authorities. The library should have seating facilities to accommodate around 50
students at a time. Each class should be assigned a particular time for library reading.
The school library should be kept open one hour before school time and shall close
one hour after school time, and for the forenoon of every Saturday. The books should
be accessed using scientific methods. The bigger schools should also have an Assistant
Librarian to help the Librarian in this task.

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
Maintenance of school playgrounds

       Every school should have sufficient number of play grounds as prescribed by
the SCSE. The upkeep and maintenance of the playgrounds, and the supply of games
materials, use of playgrounds by different classes etc. should be as per a Handbook to
be prepared by the SCSE. The play ground and the sports equipments should be placed
under the care of the senior physical education teacher of the school. The rules and
regulations for proper utilization of the facilities should be ensured by the teacher in-
charge of Physical and Health Education.

Campus development and beautification

       The recommendation regarding the need for beautifying the campus with
gardens, agricultural plots etc., should receive special attention in the hands of the
school authorities. The expenses for this purpose should be met from the school
development funds to which references were made earlier. How this has to be done
should be left to a few teachers who have the necessary experience in activities like
gardening and upkeep of agricultural plots. A senior teacher is expected to give
leadership to these activities including the removal of waste and maintaining a clean
and healthy campus. The gardening and agricultural land can be divided into plots and
assigned to each class, and this class should be made responsible for the upkeep of the
plots assigned to it. There should be facilities for storing water for drinking as well as
for other purpose like cleaning, watering plants, laboratory use, etc. This could be done
as part of the curriculum or the field work to be taken up by students as part of their
project work. The SCSE has to develop a Handbook for Campus Development, which
will spell out the modalities for operating these activities.

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
Preventing the loss of working days

       The State of Kerala has developed an undesirable new culture of forcing the
closure of schools as a method of protesting against policies adopted by ruling
governments. This is done mainly by political parties operating through their student
units. The reason for political dissent could be anything from increase of fuel price to
signing of international agreements by the central government. This is in addition to
the loss of the working time for local religious celebrations, ‘hartals’ to protest against
a suspected murders, police firing, bus strikes, holidays declared following natural
calamities like flood, drought, demise of important people, and a number of other such
events. All these are over and above the large number of declared/accepted holidays.
       We have to keep in mind the fact that the irrational loss of working time of
schools is not permitted in most of other countries. Many of the advanced countries
have very few public holidays. The fact that such practices result in the loss of working
time and loss of huge amounts public money (running to several crores per day) is not
often taken seriously by society. The practice of thrusting ‘forced holidays’ on schools
should not be permitted, whatever be the justification for the use of such practices.
This happens several times in a year. The tacit acceptance given to such practices is an
indication of the low priority we assign to children’s education. We have to convince all
the political parties about the need to change the practice of striking school work as
highly irrational pretensions by convincing them about the dislocation and disruption in
the planning and execution of school work and the fact that the school time lost to
students is never compensated. Political parties should be persuaded to adopt a new
stand on student strikes – that they will not involve students in the protest
demonstrations in any manner.

Safety precautions for transporting children to schools

       The number of accidents involving school buses used for transporting children
to schools is on the increase. The migration of children from the free government
supported neighbourhood schools to the costly posh private institutions located in far

                        Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
away places from their houses has resulted in children using cheap and often unsafe
forms of transport to schools. Children are transported to schools in crowded vehicles
which accommodate about five times the number they are expected to accommodate.
The small children are left to the tender mercies of the vehicle drivers. This practice
needs to be discontinued at the earliest. Parents are the main culprits in this new
development rather than the schools or the vehicle owners. The parents and the
school authorities should be charged as co-accused along with the drivers of the
vehicles when such accidents occur. The traffic police is also responsible for their
negligence and their failure to enforce the safety regulations.
         The SCSE should be given the statutory authority to deal effectively with wrong
practices in transporting children without detriment to the powers of the traffic police.
There should be provision for an additional scrutiny by the educational system - an
authorization by the SCSE or its agencies for specifying the safety conditions and
issuing license to a vehicle for transporting school children.
         The SCSE should create Traffic Vigilance Committees (of public men, parents,
and school officials) to supervise the operation of vehicles for transporting children.
Any violation of the prescribed conditions should be met with secure penalties like
confiscation of the vehicle, cancellation of the drivers’ licenses and preferring criminal
charges against the owner and the driver.

The recommendations to be treated as a complete package

         The recommendations presented in this report form a complete and self-
contained package for implementation. Selecting a limited number of the
recommendations for implementation and rejecting the rest would defeat the very
purpose of the present exercise. The package has to be implemented in toto or
rejected in toto. We hope this Report will be accepted in toto and implemented with all
sincerity and commitment needed for renovating the system of school education in the

                         Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10
Measures for converting Kerala into an educational destination

         Considering the fact that Kerala has the cognitive talent needed for running a
global system of education, the State should device a new series of educational policies
which would help the state to be accepted as an educational destination for attracting
students from all over the world, especially students belonging to middle-income
families overseas, Indians residing in Gulf Countries, South East Asian Countries and in
advanced countries like UK, USA, Canada and different European Countries. A vast
proportion of Indian parents desire to educate their children in quality educational
institutions in India. We have to make full use of this demand and develop a few world
–class residential schools which provide education from Pre-school to Higher
Secondary levels.
         The SCSE should take urgent steps to establish these pace-setting schools
providing education from pre-school to higher secondary levels to be named
‘International Residential Schools’ under the control of an expert committee.
         It will be useful if these institutions, run by expert teachers with training in
advanced educational systems, run these schools with appropriate international
accreditation. The teachers in these schools, selected with international requirements
in mind must be given a deep exposure to modern educational methodologies and
strategies in advanced countries, be enabled to provide global quality school
         It will be best if these institutions are located in hill stations close to any three
district capitals as specially designed campuses of about 200 acres, with the latest
amenities and facilities. The schools should preferably be run using the new policy –
Public-Private-Participation (PPP). This will attract private funds to develop world-class
institutions which will excel the best run anywhere else in the world at affordable
         The new institutions should develop appropriate strategies for marketing to
recruit students from different countries, especially countries where there are large
population of Indians. The policies adopted by countries like New Zealand could be a
model to the state in running the new generation residential institutions.

                           Report of the UDF Education Commission, 2009-10

Shared By: