SRINAGAR, Feb 22: Terming the forced expulsion of thousands of Kashmiri students from outside colleges as the biggest challenge before the society, the Coaching Centres’ Association of Kashmir (CCAK) and Private Schools’ Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has called for joint efforts to cope up with the huge problem.
The Association in a joint press conference called for keeping education apolitical and urged the leaders to shun away from doing politics by using the children. “Around 3000 students have arrived and more are coming. It is becoming one of the biggest challenges before us. Majority of these students including girls have been humiliated, intimidated and threatened. There are cases of beatings too. At places, colleges have been forced to rusticate the students and police has been pressurized to register cases against them on frivolous charges,” said G N Var chairman PSAJK.
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The Association said that local political parties and leaders should limit their words and actions to facilitate the progress and development of education sectors and not do politics on education. “Had our political leaders who are currently raising a hue and cry over the expulsion of Kashmiri students, paid heed to the development of educational infrastructure in Kashmir, this situation would have been largely avoided. When these leaders were in power they never encouraged the emergence of colleges and universities of excellence in the private sector and the result is that Kashmir is an educationally backward region. Every State encouraged the establishment of private college and universities except ours. Even today more than 100 files for the establishment of colleges are pending for want of clearance,” Var said.
The Association said that the Government lacks education policy for education in private sector. “In 1996 the then Government allowed establishment of B.Ed. colleges by relaxing rules. Scores of colleges sprung up and they gradually built their infrastructure. We want Government to come to the rescue and relax the rules for establishment of colleges and universities, as a one-time immediate measure. Colleges and private universities should be allowed to operate from rented accommodations with assurance of development of infrastructure in five or 10 years. Similarly other rules be relaxed too,” Var said.
The Association said that outside investors are ready to invest in education institutes and even foreign universities are also eager to collaborate to establish institutes of excellence in Kashmir, if only Government gives green signal.
The Association said that to tackle the present situation, both the Associations have been working with Professors of KU, IUST, NIT and other institutes. In addition to it, educationists and academicians have also been roped in. CCAK has offered free admission to students in various courses. According to our analysis most of the courses like BTech, BBA, MBA, BCA etc can be taught here by the faculty. The courses like MBBS and BDS need infrastructure. The students who were in the midst of coaching for competitive examinations like NEET, JET, IAS etc will also be provided free admission in coaching centres, as the arrangements have been made to accommodate them,” they said.
The Association also demanded that elite higher secondary institutes which have good infrastructure be allowed to start classes in graduation courses. “It is an emergency situation needing out of box solutions. We also appeal KU, Agriculture University, SKIMS, NIT, Auqaf, Hoteliers, vacant school buildings to provide their infrastructure for the classes,” they said.
Coming down heavily on the implementation of Prime Minister Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) in the State, the Association demanded their rules be amended.
The Association threatened to boycott PMSSS from the coming session if the colleges of the State are not included in the scheme.