Several private schools from across the country represented by their owners and senior executives took part in the two-day education meet that discussed how the education in this conflict-ridden state would be pulled out from the quagmires it has sunk into.
The event was aimed at spreading awareness among the people of Kashmir on the avenues and facilities available across the educational institutes in India.
Outlining the need of organising the event in Kashmir, Syed Shamael Ahmad who is the president of the Association, said the changes in the education sector that have taken place over a period of time at the country and the global level are yet to be implemented in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
While its heart-warming to know that a survey conducted by India Today has put the J&K state at No. 2, a lot more is required to be done to bring education in Kashmir at par with the rest of the country, Ahmad said.
The State cannot afford to be complacent about the changes that have overrun the previous methodologies and pedagogies.
Ahmad said its important that J&K State realizes the full potential of its resources and streamlines the curriculum in the schools in a manner such that its relevant to the contemporary requirements.
Nurturing close partnerships with other schools in the country and having student-to-student interactions periodically are the two important areas the government should immediate consider.
Agreeing with Ahmads assertions, Ms Anubhuti Mehta, Managing Director Ace Maestro, said that we cant wait endlessly for the government to act in this direction.
We should be the change that we wish to seek in the sector, Ms Mehta said. Its the people who establish governments and they have every right to take them to task wherever necessary.
She said the Association was willing to extend support and cooperation of whatever manner to the schools in Kashmir to build a broad base of resources wherein the students are equitably benefitted.
Another participant of the Conclave, Ms Bhavna Bhan who specialises in school management said Educational Tourism is one of the fastest growing areas of the travel and tourism nowadays. The area is too often overlooked by tourism professionals and marketers of the educational tourism, she said.
Ms Bhavna is the Principal of Crescent Public School, Janipur, Jammu.
Secretary School Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah who previously held many important positions in the Tourism Department, agreed that Educational Tourism should duly be considered as an important segment in the overall sector. Education rather than a mere business activity must be considered a divine job by everyone specially those in the private sector, Shah said.
While we welcome partnerships with the privately-owned institutions, at no occasion shall we leave it at the mercy of those who wish to make a mint out of education.
District Development Commissioner, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah (IAS) while acknowledging the role of private schools in alleviating the burden of responsibility in carrying the educational mantle forward, said. I hope the conclave gets the better of the 9 Oclock narrative created by some sections of the national media that Kashmir is a dangerous place, Dr Abid said.
Let me assure you, the people of Kashmir have traditionally been warm-hearted to welcome everyone to this Gods wonderful piece of Earth.
Dr Abid assured the Association of every possible support of the State administration. The doors of our heart and office are gapingly wide open for whosoever wishes to come to us with a brilliant idea.
Thanking the participants for making the conclave a grand success, President of the Kashmir Private School Association, G N Var assured the audience that private schools would continue to play their part in making Kashmir an educational hub.
Outlining the importance of the meet, Joint Secretary, Kashmir Private School Association, M Y Wani reiterated that Educational Tourism must pave way for achieving the highest degree of excellence in the field.
The event was actually scheduled to take place in Bangalore but we strived hard to persuade the Association members to have the event in Kashmir, Wani said. Kashmir which has suffered on many counts in the past, must stand honourably on its feet and it is the only the education that can help us pull ourselves out from many a quagmire.
Private schools, he said, have always been on the forefront of the educational movement in Kashmir. At a time when it seemed education was going wayward in Kashmir, private schools by way of their sheer resolve steadied the ship and didnt let it sink in the turbulent waters, he said.
Wani is the owner of Green Valley Educational Institute, Buchhpora that completed 25 years of its operation last year.
A band of musician girls from a government school in Bandipora playing on traditional Kashmiri instruments, Santoor and Rabab, enthralled the audience with a soulful performance.
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