Prof Javed Mughal
I believe if just fifty percent of the slogans and policies raised and framed by the Govt. are implemented on the ground, this country can very easily be transformed back into a Gold-Sparrow. Several projects are designed and a series of grants and packages is sanctioned by the people sitting on the helm of affairs but hardly anyone pays heed towards their implementation. This is the sole reason perhaps that we the Indians despite having 10 thousand years old civilized history could not grow meaningfully in any domain of achievement. Regarding education our governments from time to time have constituted commissions and committees but nowhere even an iota of seriousness can be discovered in respect to the working and performance of these education-monitoring bodies. Rules, conditions and suggestions are put forward by these monitoring cells but all of them die down an unnoticed death within the hard bound files. The basic flaw lies in our very approach of looking at the Education Sector. Someone, with a rational mind to think, if goes to the west, he will, for sure, find the basic criterion of Literacy Rate fixed at 3-Hs (H H H) means Head, Heart and Hand. You are educated when your Heart is trained because your heart pulsates for others; you are educated when your Head is trained because you are able to think rationally and you are educated when your Hand is trained because you are able to earn your livelihood. On the other hand we, in India, have fixed the criterion of 3-Rs–Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. If you are able to read, write and do even small sums in Mathematics, you are literate. In the west many opportunities are generated for the tots to achieve education wasting their potential no more. On the contrary, in the country of my dreams in general and in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in particular, the entire fabric of education is almost cracking down side by side due to the miasmic administration and inefficient and poor academic vision.
We have turned the educational system of our state into a tool for monitory income only failing in achieving its very purpose of streamlining the generation, saving the teenagers from the menace of drug addiction, escorting them to the place of safety from subversive environment and grooming them into good citizens by channelizing their energy and potential. Various modes of learning were visualized and mechanized by our system to provide education for all. The Distance Education mode is one of them to shape those students who, being poor, cannot afford to be regular in the institutions. It is the primary duty and the standing principles of all the Directorates of Distance Education to make all out efforts to provide educational facility to the students by all means without caring for the heavy profits accruing from this system. A Directorate of Distance Education happens to be a separate wing of a University that opens its evening Study Centers at various Colleges where the students, unable to be regular, are registered and educated so that they do not waste their time and thereby fall into the bad traps. Unfortunately this mechanism is perceived to have lagged behind in serving the purpose to the great possible extent.
Earlier there was a provision for the admission even to those tots, having backlogs in one subject at +12 level, in regular Colleges also, but later on when the monitory target was achieved, our Universities closed this window for the Compartmental Cases and this facility was shifted over to the Directorates of Distance Education where for quite a long time the admissions in Semester-I were extended to the students having backlog in one subject at +12 level but quite shocking is to say that now even these Distance Education Centers have also denied this opportunity to the these poor and helpless students. This policy of the said Directorates has two-fold loss-first there is big loss of revenue to the University concerned and second the serious-most loss is to the young generation who, being deprived of the opportunity of admission, are most likely to fall into the bad company spoiling their future. At a stage when our country is passing through an era of so many threats from all corners, when a major chunk of teenagers (who are custodians of tomorrow’s Nation) is on the verge misdirection and when more than forty percent of our youngsters are already under depression, it is the primary duty of the responsible quarters to raise maximum facilities of education for our boys and girls to abstain them from getting into life-spoiling and career-staking folds. Our Universities can play a vital role in railing up the deviated lot of society and can do a lot to save our human-treasure from being pushed into the abyss of despair. All the students, in whatever capacity they come to the colleges and Universities, must be accommodated for their proper shaping and grooming. The point of concern is that our Universities and Colleges have grown money-centric now-a-days.
They have certain targets to achieve being least bothered about what they are contributing to the society and country. Same is being done to the students by Directorates of Distance Education in our state. Not only this, even the staff engaged on the study centers who work to the best of their tether to attract and motivate the students are not encouraged at all. They are paid infra-dignitary amount of honorarium by our state Universities quite less than a sweeper gets in the Study Centers of IGNOU and others. The state Universities think only in terms of money, paying no attention to the career of the students. Heavy fees are charged from the poor students almost one and half times more than the regular Colleges are charging.
It would not be out of place to say that this practice of the Distance Learning Directorates is tantamount to exploitation of the poor students. In exchange for these heavy sums of money, neither quality education is provided to the students nor is dignified honorarium paid to staff struggling at the DDE Study centers. As a result of all this confusion, the Universities of our state are losers, the enrolled students are the worst sufferers, a major chunk of student community that has off late been deprived of the opportunity of distance-learning are spoiled on the roads getting drug addict and staff struggling for the enhancement of incentives are disappointed. The very objective of these Distance-Learning-Centers is finished and now all these educational institutions have turned out to be the money minting centers only. It is indeed not a good sign. Even the students from the far-flung areas have to go to the University to collect their simple Provisional Certificates and sometimes they have to spend days together there. It is no less than an intolerable exploitation of the poor students. To compensate for the loss no we have done to the exchequers of our Universities and to our budding generation, admissions should be extended to all the compartmental cases having backlog in one subject at +12 level as it was a practice in the past so that their lives can be saved from going astray. It will also encourage maximum number of students to come and get admissions and their energy shall also be put in a proper direction.
The admission fee should be curtailed keeping in view the economic backgrounds of the students who cannot afford to go for regular admissions in the Colleges. The concerned Coordinators must be empowered to issue the Provisional Certificates to the students so that they have not to suffer for this simple document. The Directorates of Distance Education of our state Universities should definitely start the PG Courses through the DDE Study centers so that the poor youth can easily achieve higher education, the revenue can be added to the exchequer of the University and above all our young lot can be protected from frustration and disappointment. By taking all these measures, a tremendous growth in the number of education-achievers and a spate in the spurt of finance to the Universities will surely be noticed.
Prof Javed Mughal