“ There is nothing new in world except the history you do not know.” – Harry Truman

Riyaz says the education system is unable to produce results because key core targets are not being pursued

(Mr. Riyaz Ahmad Qureshi, 34, was born in Kandi village in the Karnah tehsil, generally known as Tangdhar (Kupwara District). He was educated in a private school in Srinagar until the 10th grade and completed his 12th grade from the Government Higher Secondary School in his native town. He completed his B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Regional Engineering College in Srinagar (now called the National Institute of Technology) with an advanced diploma in computers. He is employed by the University of Kashmir as an Assistant Engineer. In his leisure time, Mr. Qureshi reads books on education and science, and enjoys driving on open roads.)

Missing the Target

The educational institutions of our state do not satisfactorily perform the function of promoting the desirable attitude in the students. Promoting the right kind of attitude should have been the primary objective of our educational system, but unfortunately this core value is missing. At the most what they do is to achieve large-scale literacy only. The results are visible in the form of the production of a huge crowd of students with no prospects of a better future, and bearing the brunt of the inadequacies in our education system.

As we all know that education is supposed to deal with the sharpening of and developing faculty of intellect and exploiting the same for purposeful and productive application. Education is meant for tangible human welfare and social development inclusive of the individuals participating in educational processes. It may be borne in mind that the objectives of education are reflective of social structure and social demands and these are always varying and dynamic.

As such these objectives can be; Universal, General, and Specific. The Universal objectives must aim at developing humanistic behaviour; the General objective must aim at developing nationalistic character, and Specific objective should take care of the immediate social requirements.

With reference to our State it is a bitter truth that the realization of the Universal objectives is rarely manifested in the students as instead of humanistic behaviour one can easily find the predominance self-centeredness in most of the cases. The realization of General objectives is seen to be badly diluted for the obvious reasons that our State’s political future is uncertain and unsettled. The realization of the Specific objectives is also not much rewarding as the educational institutions are unable to furnish socially-relevant courses of required degree and quantum.

At the primary, secondary and higher secondary levels, the courses do not reflect any thing localized as the academic programmes of NCERT are under implementation and the J & K State Board of School Education has no role in this regard and it only conducts the various examinations round. This state of affairs seems to be sociologically and psychologically irrelevant and it has telling effects on the psyche of the students who feel badly uncomfortable in social scheme of things and thus suffers from utter dissatisfaction.

At the level of higher education the situation is, of course, not that bad but keeping in view the present day requirements and necessities of the complex social structure and global advancement the educational system and the courses offered are not much attractive and quality based; reason being that most of the higher education institutions are deficient in infrastructure, library and laboratory facilities and wanting in prescribed teacher-student ratio.

In almost all the higher level institutions there has been, for quite some time, a tradition of ad-hocism leading to stagnation in academic matters. These institutions are mostly sanctioned and opened for political reasons rather than on technical grounds. These are often lodged in temporary sheds in rural areas, which reflects the apathy of the government on one hand and negligence and irresponsible behaviour of the front line social and political workers. This situation has also led to huge enrolment pressure on established colleges mostly situated in the cities and towns which have already been subjected to the problem of over-crowding because of large scale spread of population. And if the situation is not tackled carefully these established institutions are bound to lose their glory and reputation.

The condition of the institutions running PG courses is also deplorable as their intake capacity is not keeping pace with the demand. Further the laboratory, library and other essential services are also far behind the prescribed norms.

The situation is worse in respect of the educational institutions in the private sector as in no way these suffice even the basic and minimum facilities in respect of infrastructure and qualified staff. These institutions manage their entitlement through false representations and recommendations through their management committees. Generally there is a big gap between their notified and real pay structure and the recruited staff cannot express its grievances for fear of being expelled by the respective management bodies of such institutions. This is more true about private sector institutions in the rural areas where periodical inspections cannot be effectively conducted.

The question is how this sad state of affairs can end. The answer is simple. This problem can be overcome only when the whole society including the people at the helm of affairs shuns materialistic approach and exhibit true human character in the form of cultured, dignified and selfless behaviour; thus allowing the values to prevail.

This is not impossible though difficult it may be. Collective and sincere efforts on part of the members of our society can bring the derailed system on track. It is only when everyone contributes in a constructive way that a peaceful, prosperous and progressive society can take shape.