SRINAGAR A roundtable on improving the education in schools was organised on Monday by Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation(SMART), a non-profit organisation from Delhi, in collaboration with Help Foundation, an NGO devoted to the development of Kashmir.
The roundtable was inaugurated by G N Itoo, Director School Education, Kashmir, and was attended among others by many representatives of State Education department, Civil Society members, academia, principals and students.
The round table discussed the role of schools in building strong cities, tweaking curriculum to include critical thinking, building compassion, understanding and creating safe spaces where children can interact without fear of violence and radical ideologies.
Some of the speakers included Parvez Kaul, Mohammad Rafi, Yasmin Ashai, Salim Beig, NeerjaMattoo,
Itoo admitted that a lot needs to be done in the sphere of education . Teacher student communication, improvement in curriculum, building of boundaries of schools and toilets in all the 24000 plus schools is required. We are working towards it. Today our children are going to professional colleges of medicine, engineering, computer sciences. But the numbers are not enough, he said.
At the inauguration of the session, Archana Kapoor, quoted Nelson Mandela, stating that education is the weapon that can be used to change the world. But when quality education is at risk, we risk everything our future, our lives and hope.
ShafiPandit, former Chairman Public Services Commission, chaired the inaugural session. He said that we have lost much in the turmoil. If only schools were safeguarded the future could have been assured.
Professor Yasmeen Ashai, Principal Amar Singh College said that education gives students a vital link to normality while encouraging them to maintain hope and pursue their aspirations even in the most difficult circumstances.
Highlighting some of the issues that ail the education system the participants deliberated on solutions and categorised their recommendations into policy issues, social issues, administrative issues and those which could be handled by schools themselves. The concerns discussed in a closed door deliberation exercise ranged from the children getting used to not giving exams on various pretexts to realistic situations of closure of schools in account of the prevailing conflict.
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