“Education is the key that unlocks the golden door to freedom”
~ George Washington Carver
As we all know that education is the base for the structuring the society and the economy of a nation. It not only helps in development of economic contribution to the society but also helps in grooming the youth to the positive direction. The same is expected in J&K where the education system is divided into primary, middle, high secondary, college & university level.
Since the abrogation of article 370 from the J&K in 05 Aug 2019, the Kashmir has seen the temporary unprecedented shutdown like communication blackout, restriction in media etc. However, the government had attempted to restore the facility as soon as possible to get the system on track by reopening the educational institutes. We must understand that education is not just collection of information, it depends on many factors for having an ethical education system that can used for the welfare of the society. Education needs to be holistic in nature for the development of child beyond basic literacy.
Since the socio-political situation of J&K is fragile and volatile, the government must devise ways and means for a meaningful education system for imparting value based education not only for themselves but for enlightening the society in which they are growing as a person. The solution for a perfect education system in Kashmir can be comprising of conventional & unconventional methodology. For instance, in Kenya’s North east province where the inhospitable situation exists, a mobile library system was developed providing connectivity to the useful information to the students. It is also imperative to understand that the correct education to the children can change the existing ideology of separatism in few polluted minds across the valley.
The education will not only develop the mindset of an individual but also improves the confidence level to stand separate from the general public. The intellectual minds can prove their worth to the competition across the globe and outcast the limitation of disparity in the society. For the state like J&K, such belief in education system is very much required to justify as an integral part of the nation which can surely connect the state to the other states of the nation in terms of job opportunities, research development, forming part of service providers in various technological and medical platforms. Various transformations have been suggested and been implemented by the government for the educational development of J&K, specifically the valley region. Even with an overall literacy rate of 67.16% as per census 2011, the increase in numbers of school & colleges has shown a significant progress as a part of Government schemes.
As per the budget analysis of 2021-22, Rs 27957 crores has been allocated under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to uplift the face of value based education system to the state also. J&K homes 12 universities, including two central and two deemed universities in addition to the IIT, NIT, NIFT, IIM and more than 20 B.Ed colleges. Various Government implemented schemes for education are as follows:-
- Shagun Shiksha
- Samagra Shiksha
- Mid-day meal
- Scheme for providing quality education in Madarsa
- Inclusive education of the disabled at secondary stage.
In addition, government is planning to open 352 schools to provide vocational education to fill the gap between educated and uneducated youth that can be employed. 2020 has been a momentous year in education also for diverting the orthodox mindset of imparting education from classrooms to digital learning methods. Various NGOs have taken this opportunity as teaching from distance through various digital media platforms and seminars including scholarship programs. The scientifically designed education structure is not only motivating the youth to study and give scientific temperament but also maintains the traditions and the culture of the history of J&K.
For more than what we have achieved till now, we must also focus on the middle and secondary education bracket in the age group of 6-18 to bring on the aspiration to perform well and further providing consistency of education to the various institutions for higher education. The same can be extended to the working population of the society also by various unconventional means to keep the general idea of education on the right track. The content of education must also include the judicious implementation of such education in personal growth as well as growth of the nation which can bind us all together in such diversified culture.
Along with all such methodologies, we must also endure to promote education in terms of games, co-curricular activities to develop interest among the children to choose as a career path for future as per the capabilities which will require assistance from the parents as well to understand the will of the child to lead the excellence. All such efforts will surely take J&K to the path of true development and freedom which we are talking about in various platforms involving the conscience of differentiating between right & wrong thoughts which spread the negativity and radicalisation in the society.