“Perception at the national level is to produce job-creators rather than job seekers.”
By Farooq Shah
SRINAGAR– “The biggest challenge we face as educators today is preparing our kids for positions that don’t yet exist and careers that change almost every day,” Prof Parikhshat Singh Manhas in his maiden interaction with the faculty of the State Institute of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Kashmir Division, said here on Tuesday.
Prof. Manhas, who was appointed as the Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) in January this year, has also been given the additional responsibility of Director of the SCERT.
“Currently, the perception at the national level is to produce job-creators rather than job seekers,” he said. “The only thing that would help achieve this aim would invariably be the ability to think creatively.”
Prof Manhas asserted that the idea that CBSE is somehow superior to JKBOSE needs to be corrected given that our teachers are on par with anyone in the business.
“Barring some minor changes and additions, the bulk of the syllabus is the same,” he said. “The problem is that we can’t convince them that JKBOSE or SCERT, which we work for, are also doing a decent job, and that has to change.”
Prof. Manhas took the names like Shubham Khajuria, Ian Dev Singh, Parvez Rasool, and Umran Malik as examples of the great talent present in J&K.
“Earlier, people from J&K would feature in different categories like few and far between but there is a sudden surge of talent pouring from almost everywhere making the country proud,” he said. “It would be a matter of pride for us if the Prime Minister or the LG described the talent in J&K as the best in the country.”
The need to create an ecosystem that supports a young mind’s development into an entrepreneur, he said, has been emphasised by the Prime Minister and the LG, respectively.
“It, as a result, becomes the highest obligation for an SCERT employee to consider how to create teacher-training modules that cover the entrepreneurial requirements for a pupil to look beyond his or her personal self-sustenance,” Prof Manhas reiterated.
Any gifted child, he said, can bank upon a range of awards and fellowship opportunities, and has the full support of the country to pay for their educational needs.
“We have about 21000 schools in J&K, so even if we can effectively train teachers to prepare a foundation for 50% of the pupils, that still leaves a significant number of students eligible to apply for scholarships and fellowships,” Prof Manhas remarked. “If we succeed in this endeavour, we have the chance to emerge as the best SCERTs in the country.”
He advised setting tiny goals and completing them one at a time.
“Out of some 30 odd units in the country, if the J&K SCERT features at any of the three top positions, I guess it would be self-satisfying for you that can bring huge dividends for you and for your country,” Prof Manhas hoped.
Afterwards, after giving a thorough tour of the SCERT facilities, he issued on-the-spot instructions regarding how to best utilise the infrastructure for the benefit of the instructors and the students.
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