Merging- Why it became invariable?
Merging and reforms in higher secondary education is not a new event in kerala. The proposed reforms in the area of higher secondary is based on the Right to education act which stands for free education to children and access of all type of education to all type of children. It is being evaluate as only a low percentage of students are now under vocational stream and it is not sufficient to cope with the future challenges. The quality given at present is also questioned by reformers and the depth study made by NVEQF shows the present system of vocational stream is too far away from the objectives to be acheived.The reforms proposed by MHRD also includes structural change in the system of Education. Admission at 6 years and then 1 to 5 Lower primary,6 to 8 upper primary and 8 to 12 secondary class is termed as structural change.
This shows that the present dilemma of stoppage of VHSE is not mere the problem of vhse staff and referring it as a 'problem' is actually foolishness. It comes as the part of whole educational reforms proposed and launched as test launching. SSDP(State Skill Develoment Project) and ASAP(Additional Skill Acquisition Programme) as already started their promotional activities and is expected to start work in this academic year itself.The whole reforms effect not only VHSE but also Higher secondary,technical higher secondary,technical education and the general education also.The reforms may vanish/make a change in the course and composition of any of the abovesaid department.Then my question is why VHSE staff is anxious and most of them protest/accept merging.It is obvious to all that the staff in VHSE Kerala are polarized and one group is working in favour of merging and the other shows severe enemity to the suggestion of merging.The other departments namely HSS,THSS,Gen.Edn even never discuss this matter as there is no problem of vanishing the department.
Curiously in ITI, under technical education the courses are obsolete and the output is not with much quality as the practical laboratory facilities are also piteous and even there is no opportunity to higher studies except in poly technique, the staff in that department is not so anxious as VHSE. There is no discussion of merging or stoppage. Why?The answers may be many.But atlast all answers agree in one point- Our department is not in a good position to look from outside. The nice curtains in the windows will never hide the bad smell inside. All those who watches the functioning of VHSE can find something is rotten in our department .And so the VHSE is in bad condition since its starting
Who is responsible for this?
There is no meaning in look for the "jatakam" of a died baby.The committed crimes cannot be reversed and so fixing responsibilities of this bad position is also has no meaning.Yet it may be a Manuel for every department which wants to be relevant for people if it is described. One can understand 'what should not do' and what will be its consequence if all 'should not do' is only done.
Generally speaking all staff(I am not an exeption) are knowingly or unknowingly responsible for getting the department to a bad image among the minds of people and general public. In its early starting the no.of courses,their recognition, study materials, lab facility and equipments and all were a problem.In Kerala, among parents there had a conceptual challenge also-They approved only straight line education as LP,UP,HS,Pre-Degree and Degree. The turn after SSLC to Vocational/Technical Education were considered as foolish by most of parents and they felt the vocational education may lead their child to early entry in trade work like wireman/Electrician and it is indigenous work. So their opportunity to get graduation and white collar may lapse.This conceptual challenge to Vocational education is not fully erased even today.The different groups and their contribution to the ruin of VHSE is depicted here2. The Ministerial staff
1. The Govt/Educational thinkers and other authorities
Every commission by Govt on Education has indicated the importance and guidance to the construction and developing vocational education. But the bureaucratic groups ever took this a fund mis utilization or an opportunity for corruption. The educational thinkers never acted for changing the traditional concept of parents. The local authorities also were more concerned only about primary and secondary formal education The Directorate of Vocational Higher Secondary was setup. The manpower requirement to deal with was insufficient in directorate even in the earlier days. There were no permanent staff in most of schools. The appointment began at 90s. There were no effort to improve staff pattern in the Directorate even today(Now it is 389 schools. But there is no increase in number of staff).The topmost officials had not any special know-how about vocational system and they lead the department as like other educational departments
The group who made most injuries to the department is Ministerial staff-Some of them knowingly and some as its consequences. The 90s is earmarked in VHSE by appointment/Deputation of clerks and peons to the VHSE. The newly recruited and deputed/redeployed staff identified the opportunity of developing their pocket in VHSE.It was like hunting an unfound treasure.(In the last part of Malayalam movie 'Kadhanayakan' the relatives of 'Karanavar' is busy with getting valuables-That like situation was in VHSE where valuable gazetted teacher posts were vacant and no special rule and qualification for them)They were all in all of school,most of them had power of principal or beyond principal. The guest teachers were toys and prayed for their mercy. SSLC qualification and the control over B.Ed holders made them mad of power.Many of them wanted money. They in one way or other purchased degree certificates and post graduation and even served in the kitchen of authorities for getting temporary appointment as Vocational and Non vocational Teachers.Soon the opportunities became rare and the unqualified and result awaiting ministerial worked for issuing continuous circular to make their colleagues out from gazetted post. The clash and and 'snake and mongoose play' by them still throw mud on the walls of the department. Moreover the unqualified teaching staff has worked for many years in VHSE as teachers and this made a bad public image in VHSE.(People see teachers as teachers and clerks are only clerks for them.)3. The aided sector
Soon the establishment of VHSE, the aided management saw an ocean of money is coming towards
them.Three vocational staff in each course! Their expectation became high as sky..and there is no risk.The class can be attended by any of them and so there no need continuous attention of Manager whether class becomes continuously vacant or not. The computer related and medical related courses may fetch a good amount from students
Yet the aided school teachers had shown good models.In govt sector VHS sector were 'no man's army since and after appointment of staff. But aided sector made a good image in the public about VHSE(I like to say here that I am from a Govt School)
4. Miscellaneous events
In 2004 VHSE Special rules were drafted, But its creation was also misused by some person's for their personal purpose, Especially the qualification of the post. For eg.The qualification of vocational teacher in accountancy and auditing was Mcom with financial management specialization. There was no need of mentioning this specialisation because All Mcom syllabus contained accounting except marketing specialised Mcom. But the Ministerial involved in drafting added the specialization to make other ministerial who studied Mcom marketing by distance education,not to apply when PSC calls for By Transfer appointment. This type of fixing qualification made the enmity a war between the ministerials
The curriculum reform also made as not so serious. The obsolete courses can be dropped before appointment of permanent staff. But the authorities not looked on students but on their benefit Public service commission and their appointment also became controversial in many of trade's vocational staff.The science oriented questions for VHSE Qualified Lab Technical assistant exam brought more candidates from science trades and they were appointed in other trades. The catogerisation and post has no relation. The lab assistants in my school is totally disordered.One is studied VHSE MLT and has named in gradation list as LTA in MLT but now is working in accountancy and auditing. Likewise the PSC changed qualification in the middle for some trades-The voctional nstructors in clothing and Embroidery has been appointed before 4year's but even not regularised yet
because of a petition in relation with appointment is in Supreme Court5. The Vocational Teachers
Like ministerials VTs have a big contribution in freezing the name of VHSE. Actually the revolution had to be come from their part as they are concerned with the trade. Though they were not professional teachers like NVT with B.Ed and a good understanding over the psychology of students they were trade specialist who can transact the skill and craft in a better way like a carpenter(he is not a teacher with B.Ed qualification-still take fresh assistants and transact the whole work within some months). But what actually happened? They started agitation and placed NVT as their enemy, The complex of not being B.Ed qualified made them to behave like this. They argued Non vocational has no place in VHS and should give importance to vocational subject-By the end there were no opportunity for further study. They engaged only 8 periods and drawn a salary of Gazatted staff. The practical is divided to VIs and LTAs and not take any interest. I know many VTs who has even not seen the lab yet after their appointment before 3 years. They disappeared from school by the names as OJT,PTC etc. which was not real. After onam vacation there will not be VT in my school. 6.Non Vocational teachers
They may have gone for searching OJT Centres or purchasing things for PTC. When asked they will shout in return and have '1000 tongue' on OJT and PTC-It seems that the sky may fallen down if there is no OJT.Actually they are going for their personal needs or business.Yet they sign in class log for 32 periods in a week
The contribution to decline of VHSE by NVT-both Junior and Senior is as much as VTs. They placed VTs as their opponents and concentrated more in making obstacles in their way than teaching students and working for their progress. Some of them were showmen and show off their pride as B.Ed holders only to humiliate VTs.They illustrated VTs as non-trained teachers and advocated students that Non-vocational subjects are only important and getting high grades in NVT subject will only help them.The Junior teachers were more free with only 2 periods per day but many of them were complaining about their work load in contrast with Higher secondary and argued they must be considered as senior teachers with present work load-It was a trick to catch fish without getting wet-for Travel and Tourism is only major course in Humanities(catering and restaurant mgt is also converted to humanities but is not popular) and all teachers in History,Geography and Economics are Juniors and there is no Senior post at all. When there is 3batches of TT course in one school, then only they have the opportunity to become senior with a high 24 periods per week.For Physics,Chemistry and Biology there needed 3 science courses to get senior post,but the schools having such posts may be in far districts and should have to work there to get the privileges of a Gazetted officer...Then what use? Now is working in schools just 'under the nose' and if gets the power of Gazetted it should be got in front of the native people-So you must change special rule,contrast the word hours and periods and express the work in seconds or micro seconds.....Teachers bothered only about their work load was a shame to all VHSE7.GFC Teacher
The aim of GFC is inculcating in and promoting students with entrepreneurship qualities.The teacher who should teach GFC must have equipped with innovative skills and mobility-actually they are not teaches who teaches theory and so only 2 periods per class per week.They had a lot of role in developing creativity and self initiaton among students.They can take up the charge of NSS and Career Guidance and Counsiling. All these are dream in many of the present VHS in kerala. Most of the GFC teachers are ladies but not rise to occasional needs of providing mobility and confines themselves with family and children. They adjust their work of 8 hours (where there having 3 or more courses) to 4 hours by combining all the class in to one batch. Thus they have no period in 2 days of week and simply sits in their home without giving application for any type of leave.This is done handing over the charge of Career guidance to any VT who has already to attend 20 or more hours.They make use it as another 'cause' to not to come to school where PTC and OJT 'cause' cannot be applied.And thus other staff also need adjustment and effects the academics.The charge of NSS is also like this. The activity needs more outdoor duty and so GFC teacher is correct match whose engagement not very much effect the daily engagement of class. But in many schools VTs are in charge and uses it as a curtain to do their personal business.8. Vocational instructors
In the previous year there was training for instructors,in the session of explaining Lesson plan one of the instructor asked."Sir why do we need lesson plan? We have no independent periods and all Vocational Practical periods are under the supervision of Vocational Teacher. Then the teacher must have been prepared a plan for that practical work and we have only to follow that." The trainer couldn't give clear answer 9. Lab Technical Assistant
VI post is considered as one of the waste post in VHSE. With VT and LTA the practical works can be fulfilled and no need of instructors.In some trades there is not enough lab facilities and instructors have no duty at all. To make involved them in academic activities VTs give portion of theory to them which is dangerous- Even in the tuition centers of remote villages under graduate people are not allowed to teach.By comparing themselves with others instructors are dissatisfied group and this make them to work without honesty. GFC teachers have only 8 hours engagement,Juniors have 12,VT Drawing gazetted salary has practically 8 hrs,The HSAs with their same scale have only 12 periods. So they consider them as 'crucified'.This approach makes a shadow in their whole work.
The trade which studied and trade which they got appointment is different. It was out of lack of planning. The injury made by this to whole department is so serious as it made an image in staff of other department that "Vhse is department were people drawing salary for nothing". It is being said that there is sons and daughters of the high politicians and officials working as LTA at present and so their scale is differ from lab assistants of HSS.
The role of LTAs are not defined as so they have no special role. The maintenance of valuable practical equipments are made by private service in many schools.In my school the formatting of computers fetch Rs 500 from PTA Fund and is done by private agency. Even oiling of typewriter is done by private and still there is 2 lab assistant in commerce course with more than 10000 salary per monthMy expressions are not meant for personal criticism. I know many persons in the all above said categories working sincerely.Treat and reply it as General facts and criticism. The points cited here is based on a Guest teacher worked in many VHS School and this his evaluation about VHS
Yes.... Changes should come. You may think the other departments are also like this. But it is not true. there also have problems but will not be severe like this.There will not be any department to degrade as VHSE We must work towards restructuring. Even the present attempts of Govt fails and VHSE is going to continue next year like this pupils may join and can continue with curtains of PTC,OJT etc.We can work under the threat of degrading at any time. If we are under general education or New rebuilt HSS it will be much secure for our job and for community.