SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 26: Pleading for keeping academia out of politics, Minister of Education, Mr Naeem Akhtar today said that despite arduous challenges in sight, the Government would move ahead with its mission of reforming and revolutionizing J&K’s education sector which has the potential to change the destiny of the state and its people.
Addressing a teacher’s conference at a local college here, the Minister said that the initiatives taken in the education sector by the present government in the minimum time of governance have started to bear fruit. He said the government had initiated a chain of reforms in education sector which will be part of a continuous process, despite various impediments.
The Minister said he is pained to see the tragedy that has befallen the Kashmir causing tragic loss of precious lives, injuries, rendering businesses inactive and depriving our children of education. “Ironically, we have come to a time where we have disempowered ourselves, intellectually, economically and physically,” said Akhtar. “What could have been a game changing time for our education sector has become a void. This tragedy has broken my heart but not my courage.”
The Minister pleaded with all sections of the society to keep education sector out of politics. He said that all the emancipated men and women subscribing to any school of political thought are in favor of continuation of education and “it seems some mysterious elements are hell bent upon blocking the smooth functioning of the schools to render our children educationally disempowered.” He sought cooperation from teaching community to work overtime to cover the deficit of this valuable time lost due to the prevailing circumstances.
The teachers in turn announced that they are willing to work in double and triple shifts, to make up for the academic losses, as soon as schools resume functioning.
The Minister said the government is fully aware of the problems faced by the people and it will be for all to see how it addresses the basic issue in due course of time. While pleading for dialogue, the Minister said that teachers need to incorporate new ideas to produce a society that is vibrant, creative and rich in intellect. “World famous NGOs are coming to Kashmir to help the school education and together with our initiatives like rationalization, curriculum change, teachers training etc will bring back the glory of real education,” said Akhtar.
The Minister expressed his displeasure over the low ranking of J&K in the national education scale but expressed the hope that the downward trend will be arrested with the vision and commitment of the government. “The situation will become normal soon and current phase is a temporary but challenging one. Exams will be conducted in time and 1000s of teachers would be trained in special programmes to be started in coming weeks,” said Akhtar.
A large number of teachers and concerned officers from schools and colleges were present at the conference. Various ideas were discussed on how to bring new change in the education sector. Director School Education Kashmir presented a power point presentation on the achievements and initiatives taken by the education department.
Those who spoke at the function also included Principal SP College Dr Yaseen Ahmad Shah, Principal College of Education M A Road Ms Parveen Pandit, Principal Women’s College M A Road Prof Shaheen Altaf and Principal Amar Singh College Prof (Dr) Mohammad Aslam Baba.