Telangana State Intermediate Education Institutions are making efforts to include in their curriculum those practical subjects which are likely to generate among students some basic knowledge, skills, and disposition that might prepare them to think of becoming skilled workers in future, says Syed Omer Jaleel, Secretary and Commissioner, Department of Intermediate Education, Government of Telangana in conversation with Aupama Mehra of Elets News Network (ENN).
Tell us about the steps taken by your department to improve the education sector in the state.
Telangana, the youngest state in the country, has been taking unique initiatives in the field of education. One of them is the introduction of Information Technology in Intermediate Education, via which now students can do everything online, starting from their admission to taking their pass out certificates. Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education is providing thisservice to avoid any personal interface and easy access to the students.
We are also processing our association with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Centurion University to upgrade and make our syllabus, and courses in tune with today’s industry needs.
We have introduced new schemes for students’ welfare. We know that all students are not equal when it comes to learning. There are students who are slow learners and for them, we are taking some special initiatives.
Board examinations are around the corner. In 2019, soon after the State Board results were announced, 27 students had committed suicide. What steps are you taking to ensure that no such incidents happen?
Today, students take extreme steps when they face failure. To psychologically counsel and give them the support, we are planning to first appoint student counsellors. These student counsellors will be trained by us in psychological concepts. They will help and guide students to overcome their fear, so that, they can appear for their examination confidentally without any kind of stress in their mind. This initiative will hopefully help students to overcome their fear and in-turn will reduce cases of suicide in the state.
What do these counsellors do? And what kind of inputs do you give to them?
We have appointed student counsellors from the government colleges. Similarly, we have requested private colleges also. This is being done in order to identify the lecturer who is more popular and interactive with the children. So, students can have more access to them. These student counsellors will be trained by our psychological counsellors in order to train students to face stress, exams, and overcome their fear of failure. This is done to help them cope with the problems they are facing not only related to exams, but also in life.
You are looking after 2,000 + colleges in the state. What is your vision to make them different from other states?
There are more than 10.8 lakh children, 2,500 colleges and the system of administration to run these colleges, to prescribe them to conduct exams and get the results. We have fixed the snags that appeared last year. This has been under CGG (Centre for Good Governance). Other than that, we are also looking at the syllabus and trying to modernise it to make it up-to-date and industry-friendly.
Right now, we have streams like Commerce where the 1956 Act is being taught, whereas the Act has been changed in 2013.
Similarly, there is a need for vocationalisation, which we are working on. Along with Centurion University, some changes in course content, subjects, and other things, as well as in combinations, will be made available soon. Similarly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has suggested us to upgrade our course content.
What steps are you taking to fill the gap between Government and Private colleges in terms of quality education, teaching methods, etc?
We are a bi-furcated state, after which we also had Presidential order. Certain lecturers have to be appointed for which we have already made a proposal. We are waiting for permission from the government, so we can recruit quality lecturers. Once the recruitment is over, the deficiency of lecturers in government colleges will be over.
The second thing we are concentrating on to fill the gap is training our lecturers to take care of our student needs. Vocationalisation is the new mantra of the decade. Telangana State Intermediate Education Institutions are making efforts to include in their curriculum those practical subjects which are likely to generate among students some basic knowledge, skills and dispositions that might prepare them to think of becoming skilled workers in future.
Considering, the rapid change in the technology like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, and others, we need to equip our children with it. For that also we are taking steps.