As Schools Reopen

As Schools Reopen

Schools reopened in Kashmir after a gap of almost eight months.  The interim period has been a tough period for the pupils of the region—especially in terms of the opportunity costs incurred for foregoing education. But, this is a mere blip in the larger scheme of things. What is alarming and what is going unnoticed is the quality of education imparted to our young generation.  In terms of quantity and the prosaic indicators of literacy rates and the numbers enrolled in schools(Gross Enrollment Ratios), Kashmir might be doing fine but literacy rates and numbers do not add up to education. Education is, generally speaking, about opening horizons and vistas of the mind, developing critical thinking faculties and also personality development. This kind of education is sorely missing in Kashmir. Another alarming development is the proliferation of private schools in Kashmir , which , in itself is not bad but reflects the decrepit nature and provision of education in Government run schools. Another problem with mushrooming of private schools is accountability issues. How numerous private schools are monitored and held accountable? Education , in the nature of a public good, is a serious matter which cannot be trivialized. The nature of education imparted will determine the quality of our human capital as well as social capital and thus our future. The obvious solutions that strike to mind to improve the quality of education- especially to the vulnerable and underprivileged segments of society- is to revamp the public school infrastructure , stream line it and align pedagogy with the needs of the modern times. Peer to peer accountability overlain by a layer of public accountability and transparency can help obviate accountability issues. Moreover, technology and technologically aided pedagogy needs to be embedded in school systems. This approach has been tried and tested elsewhere in the world successfully. It not only streamlines pedagogy and teaching methods but , in a way, globalizes teaching and instruction. The need for improved, effective and efficient education cannot be over stated. But for this, the Government needs to hold serious intent and resolve to improve and scale up this very important public good. This, however, should not preclude serious and ethical private players. The assets of the former can be leveraged by the latter in a robust Public Private Partnerships(PPP’s) but key here would be accountability, transparency, good governance and above all a code of ethics and an ethical orientation that provision of education demands.

One Response to "As Schools Reopen"

  1. SKChadha   March 3, 2017 at 8:56 am

    “Education is, generally speaking, about opening horizons and vistas of the mind, developing critical thinking faculties and also personality development. This kind of education is sorely missing in Kashmir.”

    By criticizing Private and Public School curricula and putting emphasis on “a code of ethics and an ethical orientation that provision of education demands”, the Editorial probably desire to lay emphasis on Madarassa Education System? Whether the aim of Editorial is to teach pupil that Earth is flat … ? If not, then kindly also comment on mashrooming Madarassas……….. 😀 😀 😀

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