The winter in Kashmir is known for its harshness as it cripples normal life and forces people indoors. Every year, authorities here announce the closure of schools with the onset of winter in the first week of December.
Closure of schools during winters becomes inevitable here given the very low temperatures and poor infrastructure of our schools which hinders the continuity of academic activities because these institutions San any kind of heating arrangements. Had been our schools equipped with proper heating arrangements, the long winter breaks could have been avoided.
That is not the case here. It will take us hundreds of years to develop our institutions on those lines. If authorities are really sincere enough to elevate our educational standards then such steps and measures should be kept in pipeline for coming future.
Traditionally, Kashmiri parents would arrange tutors for their children to overcome the academic deficit of winters. Some two decades back, winter tuition was preferably carried out in the homes of teachers or qualified unemployed youth. But, now, the concept of private coaching centers has revolutionized the concept of winter tutioning.
This coaching has become a big industry in our valley. I won’t talk here about the role and contribution of these coaching centers but I would definitely talk about low access of poor children to these centres. Authorities had probably recognized the fact, and winter tutorials were made operational at selective schools, particularly during the last winter. The move of authorities was hailed by one and all particularly by the parents of the poor children.
Government schoolTeachers were deputed to teach at these centres which had been instrumental in the academic prosperity of the student community. Last year, I was part of such a winter tutorial where many hundred students of our own village and the children of adjacent of villages were taken care off.It had minimized the academic deficit of winters in our schools.
This winter, all the parents and children were waiting for such centres to be made operational. Many parents were in close touch with me for the winter tutioning of their wards. Even I too was anticipating an order in this regard but, alas ! Authorities have either linked the future of our children with unemployment or with the additional remuneration of teachers deputed at these centres. Bizzare and tragic ! The incumbent authorities should have appreciated and acknowledged the teachers deputed at these centres. Remuneration should have been increased.Even Authorities could have made it mandatory for teachers to work in these centres.
No, the case is not so. Teachers have been removed from the assignment. The children of lesser God are waiting for a compassionate direction from authorities but their wish will remain a wish only. Authorities have off late decided to run a few coaching centers in some higher secondary schools but to the utter resentment and surprise of parents, these centres are yet to be made operational. One-third part of the vacations is over. There is no clue of the people who are supposed to teach in these centres. The proposed centre at higher secondary school Naidkhai is just a kilometre away from my residence, and believe me, there is no one to teach the children.Many children from my own neighborhood are repeatedly asking me if the said centre will be made functional or not.
I can’t reply them with authority. I wonder if authorities are really sincere enough to elevate our educational standards. I pity the plight of these children who are unconsciously wasting their precious time, playing with glass pebbles or marbles in the streets and alleys of villages.These children are supposed to assume the chairs of teachers, engineers and doctor of our nation. Who is jeopardizing the future of these children and the collective future of our society? Let people open their eyes.
Let people at the helm of affairs revisit their plans and policies. Don’t link the education of children with unemployment or money. Let parents know that teachers are hapless to impart the education to their children.
After vacations, the teachers are blamed for all the mess in the department.When children remain out of touch with their books, how can they do well after the reopening of the schools in the March. Children are roaming like sheep and there is no one to take care of them. I don’t want monetary benefits for everything. Let authorities force teachers to teach at these centres. I will be the first to volunteer myself for the cause. I hope most of the teachers of our department will turn up as volunteers but at least issue a simple order. Let you bell the cat and I guarantee people that our teachers will not give you any opportunity of complaint. I request parents and the respectable citizens of our society to stop blaming teachers alone. Let people at the helm be made accountable. Intellectuals and respected citizens of our nation must come forward for the rescue of our innocent children. Teachers are ready to face any kind of challenge lest you should test their potential.We are not lazy and shirkers but we lack a proper platform.
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