A quality education—is need of the hour

Abdul Rashid Khan                                                                                                        IGP(rtd)
The recent Government decision to go ahead with screening test of  RT teachers is a welcome step. It is said that the Government had to take this decision to implement the court directions and therefore the Education Department had no option but to follow the court orders. Let us all pray that in future only a few of them are identified as ineligible for the post of teachers but even though there is no harm if all the RT teachers are put to screening test to prove their mettle. The test may further authenticate and endorse their strength of knowledge which is very much required for proving to be a good teacher.
Some politicians of Kashmir valley are in the habit of politicizing every issue. The former C.M should not politicize this issue being a very delicate matter as the future of  young Kashmiri students is involved. If some thing wrong has happened in past we must try to correct it and not to regularize it. If the Education Minister sincerely wants to reform the Education Department by taking various measures to improve the system we all must render support to him as it is in the larger interest of the society. Instead making personal attacks on the Education Minister, the former C.M must revisit the records of his six years of rule which could be described as the darkest period of governance history of Kashmir in the 21st century. Since he could not deliver the goods during his tenure it is better for him not to raise hue and cry and dub others as inefficient. Born and Brought up in the environment of the most civilized people, obtaining a quality school and graduate education from the premier school of the country and abroad  he needs to prove himself as high quality politician than others and avoid indulging in mud slinging. There must be some truth in few cases if not with all. It has been seen that the students studying in Government schools do not perform as good as compared to the students of few private public schools so far as the matriculation result is concerned though the teachers of the Government schools are highly qualified and well paid. For the information of the Education Minister it is mostly the Government science and mathematics teachers of higher secondary schools and colleges who are really the back bone of the coaching centers in the Srinagar district. They teach the students who have to appear for the common entrance and other competitive tests, after school and college hours and are therefore the real assets of the society.
The teachers of the Government high and higher secondary schools who have come through PSC and Recruitment Board  are the best and are capable to impart the high quality education to their students. The minister has to find out the reasons as to why therefore the deterioration in our education system has crept in. He must also fix the tenure of postings for all teachers and heads of schools and colleges so that they are posted in all the institutions by rotation in urban as well as in the rural areas. He has to make the education secretaries and directors responsible to ensure that no junior person is heading any college or high or higher secondary schools. The Education Minister  can fulfill  this objective only if he succeeds in keeping education department above political interferences and does not surrender to the political pressures so far as the postings and transfers are concerned. The university is considered as the highest seat of learning and serves as the center for research but  generally it is seen that a very less emphasis has been laid on  the research work in such institutions. There are only few teachers in these institutions who have research publications to their credit. To our dismay, the central university of Kashmir is still running their courses in the private rented houses at various mohallas of Srinagar district. And how can one expect a quality education from such type of  highest educational institution which is established without the proper infrastructure. The Education Minister also needs to pay more attention towards the improvement in the higher education department. Though it is not within the domain of the Education Minister but for the Government to see that how they will treat a group of officers presently holding importatant post who have neither faced PSC or any Recruitment Board                           (a constitutional requirement) but have entered in the Government service through back door / political connections. Some of them have been even inducted in KAS and IAS cadres. To meet the justice, they also need to be dealt in the same manner as have been thought of with RT teachers. Actually the deterioration in the education system has started  since the period of militancy in 1990 and due to the migration of Kashmiri Pandit teachers to Jammu and other places of the country. The standard of the education in the Government schools in Kashmir before 1990 was undoubtedly good and these schools would produce excellent and able doctors, engineers, professors, technocrats and bureaucrats. After 1990, the education system suffered the most. The vacant migrant posts were filled up with out any interview or authentication of the educational qualification certificates. In this connection number of cases pertaining to Anantnag district stand registered in the state crime branch.
Even the education in Kashmir university and medical college Srinagar had suffered badly during this period. The past history of our Education Department depicts a very rosy picture during 1960’s and 1970’s, as the Srinagar was considered to be the hub of high standard education. It is said that the literary luminaries, to name a few like, A.A.A Fayzee, Dr. Qamar Ryees, Jagan Nath Azad, Mrs, and Mr Sajad Zaheer, Krishan Chander, Muhibul Hassan, Salma Sidiquee and others, would visit Srinagar particularly the college for women Srinagar to address and deliver the lectures to the students. The J&K Government used to feel pride in playing  host for such dignitaries. It was a privilege for the education department in those days to  have person like Mr Saiedain a great educationist as head of the Education Department. We must also feel pride for our great sons of the soil like Aga Ashraf Ali, a living legend  and Saate Bushan who served as the Education Commissioners in the past.
It is therefore a need of the hour to bring some reforms in the present education system and recruitment policy which has unfortunately derailed so that the future of  our young generation is safe. The civil society has already endorsed the decision of the Government, therefore we all must support the Education Minister for taking the revolutionary measures in connection with the improvement of the education system.
feed back;- abdulrashidkhan47@gmail.com

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