Getting the best out of Govt schools: School Fagathansi mission

School Fagathansi Mission. The very fact that the State Government has deemed it fit to embark on such a mission to improve  Government schools across the State should tell a story of its own, a story which says that Government schools in Manipur are nowhere near the understanding of schools, institutions which are there primarily to mould the youngsters. And to improve schools, it is very, very important for all concerned to really understand what education is all about. Does it only mean teaching the youngsters the alphabets, the sciences, the arts and maths and trigonometry or does it entail something more ? It is also important for the Government to know what is lacking to improve the schools, or else it will land up as one of the many missions taken up earlier by successive Governments. So the first and most important point for the Government to work out is, what is exactly absent at Government schools so that the needed improvements can be given. How do schools function ? What are the parameters to make a school a good school, not just a school. How closely associated are the parents/guardians with the teachers of the schools ? How is the time table worked out ? All these are important, apart from the qualifications of the teachers and the overall ambience in which young children are taught at the schools. It also stands that what is needed at the lower and middle school level will be vastly different from the high school and higher secondary level and this is where the Government will need to work out what it envisages to make a school a good one.
This is where the Government will need to do more than improving the infrastructure of the schools but take a closer look at how the school teachers strike a rapport with the students. Is there any mechanism to keep the teachers and the parents and guardians of the students stay connected ? This where the model of parent-teachers associations may be studied. Presence of such an association can go a long way in opening communication channels between the parents and teachers and this can certainly have a positive impact on the young students. Parents need to know how their children are performing inside the classrooms and at school and the best feedbacks can come from the teachers concerned. The Government may seriously study this suggestion. Another important point that Chief Minister N Biren touched on was the practise of employing proxy teachers by the regular Government teachers. This is a practise which needs to be looked into seriously and this is where the co-operation of the village authority, especially in the hills will be needed. Once the village authority is taken on board and made to acknowledge that they have a big hand in checking the practise of proxy teachers, will it yield positive dividends, afterall the Government cannot be expected to keep a check on the attendance of each and every single teacher, especially in the far flung areas. A beginning has been made and while this is a positive move, no efforts should be spared to ensure that this does not end at the starting block.