Maharashtra education department to conduct surprise checks in primary schools

The Maharashtra state government is all set to conduct surprise checks in the state’s primary school to ensure if its initiative Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra Abhiyaan (Progressive Educational Maharashtra Programme) is efficiently being implemented in primary schools.

The Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra (PSM) Abhiyaan was rolled out by the government in June 2015 to overhaul the low levels of academic system in the government schools. The main objective of the programme is to ensure age/grade appropriate competencies in all students by providing an environment for quality improvement in teachers, students and administrators.

The Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) has appointed a group of officials who will conduct these surprise visits in the 36 districts across the state. DPE statistics reveal that there are 75,000 primary schools in these districts spread across 44,000 villages with over 1.5 lakh students.

The DPE has decided that the quality of mid-day meals, distribution of scholarships, essential infrastructure and understanding between students and teachers will be under inspection. Some primary schools do not implement government policies. Therefore, this inspection will certainly bring to the fore the ground realities and bring about a change in the education system.

Director of Primary Education Department, Govind Nandede stated PSM has proposed as how to transform the nature of classroom interactions, to make the classes student friendly and to promote self-learning. He told that teachers would be directed to help and enable students to learn at their own pace.

Conventions called Shikshan Parishad are also being organized regularly to facilitate peer-learning which refers to students learning by interacting with each other. Experts are assigned for encouraging teachers to teach using innovative and interesting methods which would make the topics easier to understand.

Schools have also welcomed the move and various principals stated that they are ready for any inspection.

The steps taken by the government are playing an important role in uplifting the education levels and encouraging qualitative improvement in class and school environment. Last year, two tests were performed (Foundation test at the beginning of term and Evaluation test at the end of the term) the result of which indicates that levels of education systems are improving. Recently, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the state has improved its ranking in providing quality education.

Schools in Maharashtra have faced random checks before on March 21, to ascertain whether the weight of school bags had come down after the school bag policy got effective from 22 June 2015 according to which weight of bags was restricted to be not more than 10% of body weight.

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