Education Reforms: Now, Open Community Primary School At Will!

Srinagar: Pleading for insulating education from disturbances, Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar Saturday said that schooling adds value to a person’s worth and such a sacred endeavour being derailed is like pushing the society into the dark ages.

“Education is not merely about employment but it takes an individual on the path of knowledge and emancipation and it has to be made disturbances-neutral,” the Minister said while replying to the discussion on the Demands for Grants of Education and allied Departments in the Legislative Assembly this evening, an official spokesperson said.

Akhtar said that the Government is on the way to make schools and colleges as knowledge hubs for not just the students and teachers but also for the community.

“The biggest and the basic challenge we are faced today is to bring our children from the cycle of hatred and violence and restore their confidence in life, make them celebrate it and end their alienation,” the Minister said and added, “there is a need to change the distorted discourse among the youth and children and make them believe how they can flourish and progress in life and career while living a respectful and dignified life.”

Referring to the situation in which the last exams were held in Kashmir Valley, he said education in the last five months had become an “underground activity” as the parents were sending their wards stealthily to schools early in the morning and come back by 9 am. “The place which has been a source of inspiration for knowledge in the entire sub-continent was pushed to such a dismaying situation,” he said adding, “such tough has been the challenge but the parents, teachers and students overcome it successfully which has been reflected in the results declared recently.”

The Minister rolled out a slew of systematic reforms and policies to widen the reach and objectives of education to meet state specific challenges.

Making a significant move towards universalization of education in the state, Akhtar announced that henceforth no government permission will be required for opening of community Primary School in the private sector.

He said that such schools shall, however, have to maintain minimum levels of learning and should be open to inspection by the Government authorities. He also announced that the private schools would now be provided recognition for five years.

In another important decision aimed at promoting transparency in the Department, the Education Minister announced that henceforth services like marriage based transfers, maternity and childcare leave, study leave and hostel allocation for students will be online.

“The recent results of the Class 10th examinations for the Kashmir division and Class 12th results for Winter Zone (Jammu) reflect the steady transformation taking place in the government-run educational institutions,” he said.

Listing other reforms, he said adding more advantage to the computerization of schools, the department decided to use this facility to connect the students of different regions of the state, who know little about each other.

“We have created a J&K Knowledge network by connecting 200 schools from across the state through which they are delivered inspirational lecturers from the faculty of top universities of the country and across the world.  I assure you that by March 2017 we would have 1000 schools connected to this network,” he added.

About the reforms in higher education, the Minister said that two Cluster Universities have started functioning with the appointment of vice- chancellors.  To expand the scope of colleges, he said 68 girls’ hostels would be constructed across the state to enable the students of far flung areas to receive higher education.

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