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Amid drop in education standards, Goa CM talks tough

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Panaji, June 7 (Ajit Weekly News) Alarmed by the drop in standards in the quality of school education, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the central civil services (CCS) conduct would be made applicable to teachers, while warning them to teach full-time and not to conduct any other business.

Speaking to reporters after conducting a review of the state’s education apparatus with top officials of the Education department, Sawant, who also holds the Education Ministry portfolio, said that Goa was below the national average according to the findings of the National Achievement Survey report. He, however, added that the blame should not be levelled on the government school managements alone, because it accounts for only 20 per cent of the state’s student population.

“We are very much concerned about the reports of the National Achievement Survey report released in 2021. It is a very serious thing… We cannot just blame government teachers and government schools. 80 per cent of students study in aided schools. Government provides them grant-in-aid for support. If we are doing this, we want results of some standard,” the Chief Minister told reporters.

“Teachers should be full time teachers. Teachers should not have any other businesses. We are paying for them. CCS conduct rules are not applicable for teachers in aided schools,” Sawant said.

Goa’s government school education infrastructure has shrunk considerably over the last few decades in wake of a surge in government aided schools, most of which function under the aegis of the Roman Catholic Church in the state.

Sawant said that since the government pays for the salaries and other grant-in-aid support, aided schools were also needed to shore up their performance.

The National Achievement Survey (NAS) is a survey of students’ learning undertaken by the Ministry of Education. It has found that the Goan students have fared poorly as compared to the national average in math, languages, social sciences and sciences.

“In math we are below the national average… The national average is 32 per cent and we are 30 per cent for Class 10. In Class 8, the national average is 36 per cent and we are at 32 per cent. In Class 5, the national average is 44 per cent and we are 39 per cent,” Sawant said.

“For Class 3, the national average is 57 per cent and we are 55 per cent,” the Chief Minister said, adding that school students in Goa were also not faring well in other subjects too.

“Some teachers do a good job, but when the national achievement survey report says we are below national average, it is not good from the perspective of students, especially when it comes to math, social science, science,” Sawant said, adding that he has taken the findings of the national survey report seriously.

“I am wondering whether CCS conduct rules should be applied to teachers in Goa in the interest of the students. We are worried about the future of the children,” Sawant said.

–Ajit Weekly News

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