Face of Education in Kashmir: Challenges and Solutions

  • Badrul-Duja
  • Publish Date: Jul 22 2018 9:14PM
  • |
  • Updated Date: Jul 22 2018 9:14PM
Face of Education in Kashmir: Challenges and Solutions

“Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.” 

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Article 21-A of Constitution of India is about Right to Education which is a fundamental right.

“The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such a manner as the state may by law determine.”

Now you can yourself understand the importance of education as per constitution of India. However the truth is private schools have turned into a mafia, they are business hubs and not education institutes and as always Govt is least bothered. I am paying lakhs of rupees for getting my kid admitted in a private school because State has failed to provide free education to its citizens. 

 

 

CHALLENGES IN EDUCATION 

 

Technical Knowledge:

Introduction of technical school is need of hour, education is employment oriented, preparing of trained and skilled students who can work as technicians, providing trainings in electronics, automobile, basic medical training, computer technology, services etc. By this we can produce our own technical hands. Manufacturing dream can only be fulfilled when you have sharp human resource e.g. Japan. 

 

How long are we going to produce bookworms? We need technical hands with education.

We live in an age where consumption is more. For this we need human resource, academic human resource is nowhere, we need technical cum educated hand for overall development. We have to imbibe skills in their minds and hands.

 

Entrepreneurship classes:

Our focus should be on producing entrepreneurs and not on producing employees. Public sector is shrinking day by day and private sector is increasing day by day. Entrepreneurs are required as they generate employment and business units. If we introduce entrepreneurship classes in schools it will be a great service towards our society. Case studies, stories of entrepreneurs, why to embrace entrepreneurship, etc. should be taught.

If entrepreneurship is future ahead then why this subject is limited to business studies only? Why not include entrepreneurship in schools and colleges so that they don’t have to pursue business studies to understand entrepreneurship subject. Why not teach them early so that they generate ideas at early phase of their life. We have to imbibe creative ideas in their minds and hands so to prepare them as future entrepreneurs.

 

Sex Education:

We live in hyper sexual world where media is showcasing sex as a normal thing challenging history of world communities where sex was considered as original sin. In this age of pornography, sex items, pre marital sex disease related to sexual experiences such as HIV, AIDS, STDs are increasing rapidly.

In schools and colleges mostly age groups of 15 to 22 are facing lot of hardships owing to sexual abuses, encounters, experiences, feelings and we are witnessing rise in teen pregnancy, abortions which is unlawful, unprotected sex which is likely to cause HIV, use of contraception which has its side effects etc. If we want to save our schools and college students we have to introduce sex education. As Google is not giving them truthful answers regarding sex because porn industries are making sure people download their videos and articles regarding ill effects of watching porn are hidden.

Therefore sex education should be introduced in schools and colleges. In Kashmir itself abortion and use of contraception pills is on rise. Ask medical shop owner, he will tell you much more than what I am writing.

 

Role of counsellors in schools and colleges:

There are more than 70,000 active substance users in Kashmir only. The gateway to drugs is cigarette smoking and school days are the beginning of drug life.

Students face difficulties and problems in schools, colleges such as exam pressure, family pressures, relationships issues, infatuations, breakups, future uncertainty, inferiority complexities etc. These problems form the basis of drugs abuse, alcoholism etc. School and college authorities have to address these problems in educational institutions only. Role of counsellor is required who will listen, recognise and address their problems. It’s not their parents, not their school or college teachers it’s counsellors in schools and colleges who will help them to recover from these personal issues. 

 

Heavy School Bags:

A serious social educational problem where our tiny tots are subjected to extreme physical cruelty causing them severe health problems. Great minds carried brains on their shoulders and not heavy school bags. Day by day weight of school bags is increasing and not decreasing. Our school children have turned slaves of educational institutions where commissions of booksellers and school authorities is making their bags heavier and heavier and causing them health problems at this flowering age.

In this regard I have file Public Interest Litigation in honourable JK High Court seeking end to heavy school bags. Govt decided to frame expert committee who will frame policy to ease heavy school bags. Expert committee report was out, yet school bags at heavier.

 

http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/heavy-school-bags-know-the-reality/259881.html

 

Value Education or Moral Education:

Due to pornographic content available all over social media and internet, women are projected as sex object in movies, ads, magazines etc, and there is increase in eve teasing, harassment, crime against women, rapes, molestation, abuses, increase in immoral activities etc. Objectification of women as sex object has become a norm where new cars are launched by a model wearing bikini not by the owner of the car.

Our focus should be on producing moral beings and not only human beings. Unfortunately moral character of students is degrading day by day which is a matter of serious concern for all of us. That’s why introduction of moral education or value education is important again in schools and colleges. Go to educational institutions you will yourself see how boys are reacting when they see a girl walking besides them, why are they riding their bikes fast in front of girls. We have to teach them the value of women, her importance as mother, role of individual in a community, importance of parenting, purpose of life. Incorporating humanism among girls and boys is very much required.

 

Political uncertainty:

In 2016 uprising, more than 30 schools were set ablaze owing to political uncertainty in Kashmir state. Temples of knowledge turned into fire buildings where fire tenders were paying visits and not students, where school buses were replaced by fire brigade buses, where morning prayer voices of students were replaced by fire alarms. This was and this is the future of our schools and college in Kashmir where political uncertainty will directly hit educational institutions.

Similarly, protests and stone pelting incidents outside schools and colleges is increasing day by day and we often see renowned colleges closed due to apprehension of such activities.

Both the resistance as well as mainstream forces have to realise that they are fighting a political problem and this problem is causing a great damage to our own state be it in economy, human rights, education, trade, commerce, tourism etc but education should not suffer. Let the political deadlock continue on streets and roads but not in educational institutions.

Why use educational institutions as voting centres, why use educational institutions as places for seminars on resistance. 

Let all political forces reach a consensus where our political fight should not affect educational institutions.

Let principals of schools and colleges meet the leaders of both the streams towards developing consensus on the fact that no matter whatsoever happens in Kashmir we will not use educational institutions as sacrificing goat for our politics.

Let us take some lessons from history, during the initial years of World War 2 where there was fight between Britain and Germany it was decided between the two warring countries that places like Oxford, Cambridge in Britain and Heidelberg, Gottingen in Germany should be kept aloof from war as they are places of education and they should be exempt from curse of war as much damage to education was already done by Nazis bombing U.K. cities which damaged universities like Liverpool, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol, Newcastle etc. To save our educational setup we have to follow such lessons from history.

 

More emphasis on Govt schools is must:

 

Why do we have to send our children to private schools, why to pay so much fees without any outcome? 

Children of Cabinet Ministers, Govt teachers, Govt professors, bureaucrats related to Education Department all their children should study in Govt schools. The only practical solution, within no time we will see a drastic improvement in Govt educational sector.

 

In 2015 Allahabad High Court also directed UP Govt to frame such a policy.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/govt-servants-must-send-kids-to-govt-schools-allahabad-hc/

 

Extra circular activities:

 

Sports must get appreciation in schools and colleges. As modern world is lucrative when it comes to sports.

If a boy of 17-18 age spends his Sunday in sports ground, he will get enormous benefits. His physical, mental health will get stronger and he will be in company of competent team mates where he will improve more as a sportsmen and as a human being. If he spends the same day with his friends or girl friends visiting some restaurants, tourist place etc there are chances that he will indulge in immoral activities such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs. That’s why we should pay more emphasis on sports as sports, artistic and cultural addiction is beneficial and fruitful then cigarette, alcohol and drug addiction.

Similarly cultural activities are also of significance through which we can produce artists in our society and we all know importance and value of artists in propagating our culture.

 

 

Colleges,Universities as Extensions of State:

University or colleges are producing unproductive graduates, post graduates as scholarly, intellectual upbringing is nowhere. Suppose in any Department of KU if a student qualifies KAS exams or any other exam it's because of his own hard work and dept. has no role in his qualifying of the said exam. 

There is no practical knowledge incorporated, they are more into utopian idea of education which in unreal in today's world. We have to rise above favouritism, nepotism, corruption, marks culture, exam system, intellectual and critical thinking is required then only scholars can be prepared. Universities and colleges have turned matchmaking institutions where couples are selecting their partners for marriages, professors are concerned over completion of syllabus, students are attending classes for attendance and not for education. 

 

Day by day our educational setup is deteriorating and coming generations will curse all of us for being mute spectators of such educational agony. 

 

(The writer is a Law student  at Kashmir University and can be reached at  khanyari.duja@gmail.com)