Back to school

Published at June 09, 2014 12:16 AM 0Comment(s)279views


A popular index to gauge progress and development in any state is by evaluating the institutions, their performance, growth and evolution with changing times and needs. In J&K the worst to suffer in the last couple of decades, apart from the people, are the state institutions. One such important institution is the Education, which has been maimed with countless problems with no serious effort by any government to either bring in the changes or rectify the mistakes that have been repeated over the years. The debate on government run schools versus private institutions is hackneyed. The former (government run schools) are popular for many things except education or quality education, whereas private institutions are popular for good education at the rate of good money. In cities and towns of Jammu and Kashmir, private institutions have propagated – from pre-nursery prep schools to elementary and primary schools to coaching centers. While the directorate school education is known to be suffering from endless lethargy whose rare interventions end up with sending a notice or two to private schools, the latter enjoy absolute freedom to manage all affairs, barring the conduct of some examinations. Higher education and professional trainings are no better. Common Entrance Test 2014 has been conducted but the mistrust after the scam was unearthed is yet to be remedied. Whether the system in place – of preparing question papers, their secrecy and finally conduct of test, is goof-proof cannot be said. The board and the government did not bother to plug the loophole permanently by calling for better measures and checks and instead it has been the oft repeated reflex action of replacement of the tainted and order of an investigation. The other issue with the professional training and education is the inadequate institutions. A large number of students in the state seek admissions in different colleges and universities outside the state. When former health minister (Union) Ghulam Nabi Azad announced establishing new medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir, it was a glad tiding and appreciated by all. Additional colleges mean more students being able to apply and pursue different professional trainings and courses. It is true that in the state there is a disproportionate ratio of educated to employed youth. But at the same time among the educated employed, those with professional training and degree (usually in medicine or engineering) do comparatively better than others. One more trouble that education in the state faces is that of affiliated or non-state institutions, like certain universities, that have been alluring students. There are reports that students receive certificates and degrees against payment of hefty sums. There is no teaching or learning, just few formalities. Such students cannot compete or be productive in any industry or human enterprise. This trend, although known now, is encouraged as the authorities and the administration fail to take action.  Education, like other institutions in JK, instead of being strengthened has been left to rot. It is the people that run affairs of the state who need to go back to school.
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