A worrying state of school supervision visits

Published: 21:15, Jan 08,2017

 
 

A SCHOOL supervision system is important in that it helps to ensure the effectiveness of education that the government imparts on the children and young people and to effect any improvement that the schooling system may need through a continuous watch on the functioning of the school. This is where, unfortunately, the government has lagged for quite some time now as, as New Age reported on Friday, supervision visits, mainly to secondary schools, have been jeopardised by 333 positions, out of the total of 488, of assistant thana education officers and 68 positions, out of the total of 488, of thana education officers remaining vacant. More worrying is the fact that while the positions of thana education officer, who needs to visit 12 schools and madrassahs a month, have been vacant for varying durations, the positions of assistant thana education officer, who needs to visit 20 schools and madrassahs a month, have been vacant for more than five years. Apart from examinations that take place in schools and in classrooms, supervision visits, to assess academic and administrative functions of the schools, are the other means to ensure that the educational administration itself functions in tandem with teaching and learning.
The poorly managed school supervision visit, or the absence of it, in many cases, holds back managers of national education from knowing what happens on the ground and, thus, stops them from properly planning any improvement that may be needed or even from directly leaving instructions for the teachers or the school management concerned about how to improve the quality of teaching and academic environment. By way of supervision visits, education managers also assess if the teaching method that the curriculum recommends are properly followed or even if followed at all. In the absence of such supervision, schools are hardly improving, which field-level education officials are also reported to be complaining about. This gives more reasons for concern in view of the findings of various monitoring and competence reports, conducted by the government, which reflect the sorry state. A government study, the Learning Assessment of Secondary Institutions 2015, published in August 2016, for an example, says that 51 per cent of the Class VIII students have failed to achieve the expected level of competence in English and 46 per cent of them lacked the required competence in mathematics; 46 per cent of the students are also found to be lacking the expected level of competence in Bangla. People involved in the study mostly put such failures down to a lack of appropriate academic environment and a poor classroom teaching, which can only be ensured with regular, and effective, supervision visits.
What has so far come about in this direction, especially when five out of eight positions of assistant thana education officer have been vacant for more than five years, brings to the fore the government’s insincerity towards the public education system. Such a situation warrants an immediate government intervention both in the recruitment of people to the vacant positions and in training the inspectors to perform better, more so when teachers, as a whole but especially in rural areas, are less trained.

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