AN OPEN LETTER TO MR NAYEEM AKHTAR

Respected Sir,       

I am a student. I have so far being studying in government schools and have recently passed my senior secondary school examination. While I assume you as messiah to up bring, revolutionize the education system, I have been nourished by. Education sector of Kashmir had longtime back signaled for fresh, positive and comprehensive changes. Unfortunately so far none had attempted to clean up the mess in it. I hope you will apolitically lead the career of thousands of learning lads to greater heights. Charismatic, revolutionary decisions sometimes turn bad situation worse, if taken to fetch political points.  

 The condition of Education department of our Kashmir is so appalling that no political party attempted to woe the electorate pre elections on the issue. Announcements of establishing schools, which have no infrastructure, no quality education and which sometimes occasionally provide poor children few rotten grains, would never be a solution. There are more than enough schools to enroll the students but on the contrary very few govt schools to enlighten them.  Major part of our state is rural and most of villages are garnered by ample number of government established schools. But even in spite of possessing competent teaching staff annual results of these institutions are pitiable.  Privatization of the sector has taken root only after the failure and delay of conservative checks on Govt education sector. Privatization has already put the whole Govt sector into disarray. It seems as it will seize the very existence of Govt run schools if immediate checks are not made. Consequential to it lower middle class will remain illiterate due to incapability of paying fees in private schools.

 There has been no public discussion or discourse to raise the education standard of valley. Since you have taken over the public discussion has begun. I hope you are not a morning star in sky of expectations. 

The majority percentage of the students study at govt run schools, secondary, high or primary schools under SSA. This scheme has turned into Self Service Allotment as most of postings are politically motivated though selections must have been purely made on the basis of merit. But adversity is when decisions are reversed to favor few without acknowledgment of the pains given to others who are more competent than the favorites. This political favoritism will not let the revolutionary idea to take off. So the competent teaching staff would be likely promoting the idea of teacher’s eligibility test, though TET is already being implemented in the state of Bihar etc. But before switching to such plan you must ensure and promise accountability, impartiality to the whole teacher’s fraternity. Otherwise it won’t be any more looked as revitalization of the system. 

Since as of now people and civil society are open to discuss the plight of the students in government schools, there is growing hope of the redresser of the system. Your keen introspection will make you familiar to the worsening issues of our schools. This familiarity will in fact breed contempt in you and you will surely feel that all is not well. You will feel it in-genuine to pass the responsibility of upbringing quality education to teacher’s shoulders. Infrastructure of our schools is pathetic. At some places teachers have to accommodate hundreds of students in a single room while at other places schools have to accommodate dozens of teachers only. There is certainly a flaw in the government policy. It might take you next few years to address the issue inclusively, but it is possible if all round sincere, selfless and apolitical checks are put in. And the day you get your grandson admitted to a Govt primary school will we speak of your successful revolution.

Thanking You,

Imbisat makhdoomi 

IInd year engineering 

Anantnag, Kashmir 

[email protected]

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