Aimed at sensitising the teaching community to work as a team and improve their output, the state education department has started experimenting with holding a weekly night halt at the block level.
The brainchild of Chander Shekhar, director, secondary education, the department would redress grievances of teachers and government-run school administrations on the spot.
The first-of-its-kind open meeting by the director was held at Government Senior Secondary School here in Ladwa block on Thursday night and all 29 pending issues were settled.
"The outreach programme is planned to imbibe teachers' feeling of belongingness with the education department. I feel that the top administrators should take a step closer to the field staff to listen to their problems and ensure prompt solutions," Shekhar told Hindustan Times on Friday.
As per the plan for the first phase, one block from each of the 21 districts will be covered on every Friday, except second week of the month. After a night halt, the director would interact with students next morning.
On August 30, a night halt camp would be held at Morni block in Panchkula.
"The department will inform all schools of the selected block in advance to submit their grievances on any issue to the headquarters. The branches concerned will be asked to find solutions to the given issues and at the night halt programmes, pending matters will be resolved. We will ensure follow-up of each case," he said.
The director said that all stakeholders, including the panchayat members and residents, would be involved to give the system a makeover.
"If results will be encouraging, the programme will be extended to all 119 blocks of the state in a phased manner," Shekhar said.
He said his successful experience during his last posting as Kaithal deputy commissioner prompted him to introduce night halts in order to improve relations with the field staff.
In Kaithal, he had settled about 46,000 cases during the weekly night halt programmes at villages and his regularity had prompted the chief minister office to direct all district administrations to follow in the footsteps of Kaithal.
Teachers of the block felt elated with the department's novel initiative.
"The director motivated us to give our best in the classrooms and shun shyness while making electoral rolls. A video of renowned motivator Shiv Khera has encouraged us," said a teacher.
District education officer Asha Grover said that it was for the first time that any top official of the department chose to spend time with the staff to know their problems.
Besides suggesting songs from famous Bollywood flicks - Aye malik tere bande hum (Do Ankhen Barah Hath), Itni shakti hamen dena data (Ankush) and Pyar baantate chalo (Hum Sab Ustad Hain) to be adopted as assembly prayers, the director advised teachers to ensure cleanliness during midday meal cooking as done by them at homes.