Friday, 22 March 2013

Concern: Education For All

Let us not forget the importance of educating all for the betterment of our society.

The student of Management at LPU, Punjab writes:
 In the development of any nation, education has a prime role to play. Nations outstand themselves by virtue of the contributions made by their citizens, which stand witness to the importance of quality education that is being imparted to them. Education not only makes an individual capable of doing extra ordinary things, but also broadens his vision and perception, towards the things he encounter. Education prepares the ground on which dreams are turned into reality and thus, contributes towards the progress and well being of the people and the society in general. As a matter of fact, education and education imparting mediums hold the title of being assets for any nation and the way they are managed and handled can help to determine the future of any nation precisely. Education clearly is a revolutionary tool that can bring about a change in anyone’s personality and mould it towards the betterment and welfare of the person concerned. Nobody can deny the fact that the number of education imparting mediums need to be established keeping in view the population of the area that is being served. But when we take a look at the scenario of our Kashmir valley, one often gets surprised to see a few number of colleges and universities catering to such a huge flux of students. The situation is more worrisome for those who are just a step away from getting admitted for their higher studies. How to get themselves admitted is a complex question that still remains the centre of universe owing to the cut throat competition and inability of the state authorities to set up new universities and colleges. The students have to face rejection and discontentment inspite of being well educated and deserving for the lack of vacancies, How Bizarre!!!
Quite often the figure of admission seekers outnumber the vacancies by a massive amount but still the state administration does not pay heed to their grievances and they continue to suffer. What is the point to have such universities and colleges where only the creamy layer can get admitted while others get deprived on account of limited vacancies? What about those who cannot afford to move outside and study there for their incapability of the resources needed? What are they left with: either to discontinue their studies or lose their precious year to the inefficiency of the state administration. According to census 2011 data, the literacy rate for Jammu & Kashmir stands at 68.74% out of which 78.26% comprise of the boys while the rest 58.01% constitute girls. Since it has increased from 55.52% that used to be in 2001, but what remains an important question to answer is: to ascertain the reason which led to the increase in this rate. May be because of some students who had the resources and migrated outside to persue their education there or because of the distance education policies they enrolled themselves for, raised this number. Although the state govt possess necessary funds and has the capability to establish new universities, but the irony is that till date there has been no such step from the govt which could have provided a sigh of relief to the students. Talking of the premier education imparting medium, University of Kashmir, one fails to understand as to why till now no significant up-gradation in the intake capacity of students has been done. Why this inefficiency, irrespective, of having all the pre requisites that are needed to run any institution quite smoothly? If such an institution has been unable to exploit its resources to take the maximum advantage possible, then what blame could be put on others? Owing to the ever increasing number of students that become eligible for their higher studies, it was the need of the hour to have such a system in place that could have tackled to the issues of all, but what we see is a mockery of management towards this issue. As per the current scenario thirty six thousand students are competing for only three thousand seats being offered by Kashmir University. What good this nation can expect when almost thirty three thousand prospective students are left at the mercy of God. What use of their talent has remained of when they do not get the ability to showcase it? What further expectation can they have from this system that fails to honour the obligation of providing enough opportunities for their development? What is the use of having such an educational system at our place that is unable to meet the expectations of the students and has failed to win their hearts? Has the same scenario been in other nations, they would have also been in a dilapidated state, with no prospectus for improvement and contribution for the future. But no, they have learnt to use their resources skilfully and in a better way to cater the rising demands of the students, which still remains to be done in a state like ours.
A common excuse that our state administration often resorts to is that, of revenue. Now that university of Kashmir has generated enormous amount of money from about 36000 forms, this amount can be used to create and expand new educational avenues besides satisfying the basic motives. What is of prime concern, is to match the aspirations of the students so that they do not feel alienated and perceive that they are being taken care of. There is a need of such an educational system that can cater to the demands of the students by providing them with enough avenues so that they could be able to enrol themselves for higher degrees. Increase in the number of universities and colleges to the limit that they might be sufficient to serve the population is the first step towards meeting this challenge. Furthermore with the increase in the higher educational institutions, the problem of unemployment can also be kept in check, which would provide ample employment chance to the unemployed youth. Education being a weapon that can change the world is of significant importance provided that its significance is understood. Thus, the number of universities and colleges should be increased and their intake capacity should be set as per the requirements and the need of the hour.     

Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi

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