SRINAGAR, APRIL 30, KDC: Director State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Professor Parikhshat Singh Manhas, today had an exclusive maiden meeting with Principals of Kashmir Division’s District Institute of Education and Training (DIET).
The meeting, which took place in the SCERT auditorium at Bemina, was attended by all 10 Principals from various DIETs.
Seeking analysis report regarding Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Challenges (SWOC) from the DIET Principals to revamp the SCERT brand, he asked for a fund utilization report of the previous financial year and took serious note of funds that had not been utilized.
“Each penny counts when it comes to building a strong education system,” Professor Manhas said. “I urge the DIET Principals to provide a detailed report on fund utilization of the previous financial year so that we can identify the areas where we need to improve and avoid any wastage of resources in future, he added”
“Let me be clear, we cannot afford to waste any funds that have been allocated to us,” Professor Manhas stated firmly. “The reason to hold this meeting in the month of April is to ensure fair and maximum utilization of funds in the new financial year, he asserted”
Cautioning against deliberately lapsing funds, he emphasized the collective responsibility to ensure that allocated resources are put to their best use.
To ensure proper utilization of funds, Professor Manhas asked the concerned to draw calendars for various activities in advance and send them for his perusal beforehand.
“As educators, we must lead by example and shun the practice of doing things at the eleventh hour,” he said. “There is a need to adopt a hybrid approach, utilizing both online and offline modes, to ensure that our activities are efficient and effective.”
Professor Manhas assured the provision of staff to the SCERT and DIETs purely on merit basis and pledged to remove the tag of SCERT and DIETs being considered “dump yards.”
Asking them to gather manpower and orient them in such a way that productivity is increased and isolationist behaviour discouraged, he emphasized that his job was to facilitate the work, while the onus lies on each head of the DIET.
Extremely emotional on the subject of “Toycathon”, Professor Manhas urged them to make the event a grand success by ensuring maximum participation of students including those from the private schools.
“Sponsored by organisations like Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Microsoft, and Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited, the event is scheduled to begin between 10th and 15th May and end on either 5th September or Kalam Day,” he informed.
Pertinently, Toycathon is an innovation challenge, launched by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, to create toys and games based on Indian ethos and values.
“It is a unique opportunity for students, teachers, and start-ups to showcase their creativity and design skills in developing toys and games that are not only entertaining but also promote learning and development,” he said.
The first Toycathon was held in 2021, and it received an overwhelming response, with over 1.2 lakh participants from various parts of the country. The event aims to encourage the Indian toy industry and provide a platform to the country’s creative minds to come up with innovative ideas and designs for the development of the toy industry.
Professor Manhas emphasized the importance of providing textbooks to private schools, and suggested that the government should offer discounts or delivery options. He also requested that private schools use only the textbooks recommended by JKBOSE (Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education) to prevent students from being overburdened.
Stressing the need for a synergy between the SCERT and JKBOSE, he asked the DIET Principals to help build and maintain a collaborative approach at all costs.
Professor Manhas asked them to ensure that the INSPIRE fellowship program is accessible to as many eligible students as possible. He further emphasized the importance of maintaining records of all individual students participating in the program, which can serve as useful data for future reference and evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.
“The data can be used to determine the impact of the program and help identify areas where improvements can be made,” he said. “By ensuring maximum participation and effective record-keeping, the INSPIRE fellowship program can help students to realize their potential and achieve their academic goals.”
He emphasized that it was important for all stakeholders to work together towards the common goal of improving the quality of education in the UT.
“By staying connected and communicating effectively, we can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that our efforts are well coordinated and effective,” Professor Manhas said. (KDC)