Educationists and academics in Kashmir have raised concern over what they termed was the ‘unfair’ distribution of academic branches between Kashmir and Jammu divisions in the newly established State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), which was inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha through electronic mode on Saturday.
Early this month, the school education department established SCERT in J&K by issuing an order to merge the two existing State Institutes of Education (SIE) at Jammu and Kashmir divisions and instead creating two Divisional Offices at the respective capitals of the two divisions. There will be a central move office as well as the government created a post of director by upgrading one post of joint director of the school education department.
A government spokesman said that the SCERT will function on the lines of NCERT, the apex institution of educational research and training at the National level.
Though the academic branches have been distributed equally between the two regional offices of SCERT, the academics in Kashmir say that the distribution is not fair as more important branches which help in framing the basics of the education have gone to Jammu division.
“The formation of SCERT is a good step. It has centralized the process and will help in research but there is no fair distribution of academic wings. Most important branches have gone to Jammu putting Kashmir valley at a disadvantage,” said Mohammad Rafique Rather Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum chairperson .
In Jammu division office, the academic branches which will be dealt are: 1) Curriculum development and studies; 2) Population education, girls education, early childhood care education and education for all; 3) Education in social science, humanities and commerce; 4) Teacher education.
On the other hand, the Kashmir division office will handle: 1) Educational research, survey and assessment; 2) Education in science and mathematics; 3) Health & physical education and guidance & counseling; 4) Inclusive and special education. Five more branches have been assigned to both the divisions.