Education is a process that turns the inner eye towards light, as aptly quoted by Napoleon. It is a phenomenon which broadens our vision and helps us to explore new vistas in life. It is not necessary that an educated person is literate, being educated and literate are two totally different processes. One can be educated without being literate, and one can be uneducated although he is a literate. Well, why I am writing this article is because I feel that this concept education is imparted to us by the very elite class of society none other than teachers. A teacher is a person who opens a new world of knowledge and education to us. He helps to nourish our imagination with knowledge and alter our thought process for better. He serves our intellect with healthy food on a routine basis and we feel that we belong somewhere. A teacher is someone who proves to be a beacon light for all the budding blooms who later prove to be the responsible natives of the nation. A good teacher is someone who not only delivers a lecture but inspires a student to know his contribution in the larger scheme of things.
Being a part of this noble profession, I know how blessed it feels to educate the youth who badly need a guidance in this tech savvy world where they end up living a disastrous lifestyle! However, there are certain instances where I feel that this particular profession is losing its sheen and shimmer for the last decade or so. It is very heartening to see the pathetic condition of education system in our valley. One such big reason that contributes to its faulty framework is that most of the deserving, highly qualified and experienced scholars are working on a contractual basis in almost all the reputed colleges and universities of the valley. Besides having Himalayan knowledge and too many feathers in their cap, being a permanent employee is still a dream for them. Most of the contractual Assistant Professors who have credentials, publications and research papers to their credit have no option but to work on contract basis as no employment opportunities are served to them in this disputed territory. It is highly demotivating to the newly recruits who still are somewhat handicapped in their credentials.
The other reason which I find highly disappointing is the stipends that the junior research fellows receive here in this valley. A JRF does need some monetary benefits to complete his research studies, he needs to spend money on journals, books, periodicals and travelling expenses, but unfortunately he receives only 13,000 per month despite being very talented and passionate about research. The government or the concerned authorities should increase the amount of stipends that a JRF receives. In many cases the research guides provided to the scholars are very nagging and instead of helping the scholars, they turn them into helpers. I have witnessed scores of such cases where guides mentally harass their scholars for getting their work done and the scholars are left with no other option but to please their guides. In some unfortunate cases, some scholars leave their research midway even before the termination of residential period because they could no longer bear the step motherly attitude of their guides.
In some universities outside state, one guide has many scholars working under him, as a result he is not able to give the deserved time and guidance to the scholars as is expected by them. Most of the universities do not have anti-plagiarism software to check the copied thesis as a result the research done by them is not authentic and copied. These are few loopholes that I find are plaguing this so called noble profession. The government needs to wake up from the deep slumber and take some measures to bring back the education system on track and address the issues highlighted in the article.
AZRA MUFTI, IS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS STUDIES, IUST AWANTIPORA
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