SRINAGAR: Pleading for keeping academia out of politics, Minister of Education Naeem Akhtar said on Monday that despite the challenges, the government would move ahead with its mission of reforming and revolutionising 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, Akhtar said that the initiatives taken in the education sector by the present government have started to bear fruit. He said he is pained to see the tragedy that has befallen Kashmir. “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.”
Akhtar pleaded with all sections of society to keep education out of politics. He said that all the emancipated men and women subscribing to any school of political thought are in favour 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 the 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 people and it will be for all to see how it addresses the 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 rationalisation, curriculum change, teachers training, etc, we will bring back the glory of real education,” said Akhtar.
“The situation will become normal soon and current phase is a temporary but challenging one. Exams will be conducted in time and thousands of teachers would be trained in special programmes to be started in coming weeks,” he said.
At the conference, Director School Education Kashmir gave a power-point presentation on the achievements and initiatives taken by the education department.
Those who spoke at the function included Principal of SP College, Dr Yaseen Ahmad Shah, Principal of College of Education MA Road, Ms Parveen Pandit, Principal of Women’s College MA Road, Prof Shaheen Altaf, and Principal of Amar Singh College, Prof (Dr) Mohammad Aslam Baba.