Private schools demand doing away with archaic class VIII board exams

Kashmir Reader | 26 May 2017

Srinagar: National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), the largest amalgam of private school associations in India on Thursday suggested the Jammu and Kashmir Government to remove board examination for class VIII  from the academic calendar of education.
Talking to reporters, President NISA Kulbhushan Sharma said that J&K is the only place in India where class VIII students still have to sit for board exams. He said the pattern prevents students’ career development.
“Board exam was scrapped way back in India because it was believed that it halts student performance,” said Sharma, “Why should the state still have it?”
President Private Schools Association of Kashmir GN War said that holding board exams in Kashmir is basically a reason why less number of students from the Valley qualifies India’s prestigious engineering and medical exams.  He, however, did not share any data about the Kashmiri students studying in India’s prestigious institutes.
“I am in the education sector for many years and I have observed it as to how the board exams scuttle the performance of students,” said War.
Sharma also suggested the government to drop the primitive method of giving school recognition because it involves multiple hassles.
“The recognition is granted after submitting 43 no-objection-certificates. This method takes a lot of time. Also there are some NOC’s which are not required. A tehsildar is supposed to give NOC on the use of chemicals in school. A school has to get NOC for safety building every year. All this hampers spread of education. Government should instead adopt easing out opening schools,” he said.
Sharma, along with many other top notch education players of India were on visit to the valley to see the private schools in the Valley. They took part in a mega education conclave on Wednesday, which was addressed by education minister Altaf Bukhari.
Regarding the issue of fee fixation between the Kashmiri Private schools and the government, Sharma said that the schools charge very minimum fee from students against the amount of efforts put in for their education.
“Kashmir is the only place I have seen in India which has a very less tuition fee. Its performance is also better than many top-notch Indian private schools,” he added.
Private schools are up in arms against the government against the state governments cap on fee enhancement. The successive state governments have also made committee headed by a senior judge to decide parameters for the fee structure. However, no recommendation has come forward as of now.
Sharma said the government should constitute a fee fixation committee whose members would be from the schools associations and government. In a time bound manner, Sharma said, a policy for fee fixation should come forward and resolve the issue.

This news was published by Kashmir Reader