Education is about teaching, learning skills and knowledge. Education also means helping people to learn how to do things and encouraging them to think about what they learn. It is also important for educators to teach ways to find and use information.
Through education, the knowledge of society, country and of the world is passed on from generation to generation. In democracies, through education, children and adults are supposed to learn how to be active and effective citizens.
More specific, education helps and guides individuals to transform from one class to other. Empowered individuals, societies, countries by education are taking edge over individuals who otherwise stand on bottom pyramid of growth.
We try our best to focus on our goals as every aspirant of the world does. All of our classmates, our friends and our native students dream as such. Universities play a vital and crucial role in the development and evolution of societies. As institutions of excellence and knowledge they generate new ideas, encourage innovation, educate young minds and create awareness and dynamic citizens in the society.
As we all are aware about the introduction of Semester system followed by the Choice Based Credit System(CBCS) by Kashmir University in the year 2015. It was thought that in the annual system of examination students show negligence towards their studies as the examination are conducted only once in a year. Also it was a burden for the students to prepare the entire syllabus for the annual examination. Even it was thought that the attendance of the college going students will get better.
However after going on with the semester system from last two years, there has been a hue and cry from the students about the failure of semester system especially when it comes to our all time disturbed state.
The advocates of the semester system had perceived that this move will change the whole scenario of preparing for exams in a planned manner and also will regulate the studies and attendances of students, but semester system is turning out to be a big failure and a disaster.
It’s not possible that anything that is going on outside our state will also happen here given the uncertainty and other circumstances of our state. In fact, a survey conducted by All Kerala Private College Teachers Front, proved that Semester System and CBCS has eroded the quality of education.
Moreover, According to P.S. Manisundaram, the first vice-chancellor of Bharathidasan University, the concept of semester system borrowed from American universities has failed in India. In the American system, the system is workable because the valuation process is entirely an internal affair.
When it comes to implementing the same system in affiliating universities, the load on students and teachers become enormous, said Prof. Manisundaram who was the Syndicate Member of the University of Madras in the mid-1960s when the then vice-chancellor, A.L. Mudhaliar, introduced the semester system only for engineering programmes as a pioneering project.
But, even before the impact could be determined, the rest of the universities followed suit. It is now better for universities to revert to the annual system by restructuring the courses accordingly, said Prof. Manisundaram, reasoning out that for one hundred years till the semester system was introduced, the annual system was a success.
In fact, for B.Sc. Honors course, candidates had to take the examination for all the papers only at the end of the third year. There is no reason why the universities should not get back to the annual system since it would also expand the duration of teaching-learning transactions. Madhya Pradesh government scraped the semester system in 2017 and many other states are mulling to end this scheme. Surely, there cannot be any kind of support for such a scheme that is detrimental to students, teachers and the institutions.
In a place like Kashmir, semester system can’t become successful. Each and every day in Kashmir, either there is a killing, encounter, strike or something else which restricts students to go to their colleges. They are not able to attend the classes regularly. I fail to understand the mind of the advocates of semester system, that on what basis they got semester system introduced here. Aren’t they aware about the day to day situation in Kashmir. Aren’t they aware about the fact that why government announced mass promotions and cut down some portions of syllabus for some classes.
All the students which fall under Semester system and CBCS category are showing anger against KU officials. The semester system has resulted into a wastage of precious time of students. The future of the students is in a great danger or we can say future of Kashmir as well. For some students, these such moves become a reason to give up on their studies. They lost their interest in studies.
The semester system has made mockery of learning and teaching process because there only focus is having on semester exam and not on the class work. The students who were enrolled under Semester and CBCS System in the February-March 2016 for BG 1st year are still in 3rd semester.
They were supposed to take their first sem exam in July 2016, but due to the turmoil last year there exams were delayed and they appeared in their 1st semester exam in January- February 2017.
That means they lost the precious time of one year because their second semester was supposed to begin in July. Not only this the students who have admitted themselves in 2015 are appearing in their fourth semester only while as they should have been in their last semester. This means that they are pushing the degree of graduation to 5 or 6 years course. Who will compensate the loss of students?. What’s the fun behind going on with such a system which compelles a student to complete the three years course to 5 or 6 years.
This is the level of carelessness of KU about the future of their students. We can also say that by continuing with the semester system they want to mint more money from students. They have left the students into frustration and have over burdened them.
Furthermore, there were also multiple protests from the students against KU regarding the issue of fee. Students said that KU had increased the yearly fee which a student of a poor family can’t afford, but no action was taken in this regard. The reports and stories have been going on from the day it was introduced but University authorities as well as the government have remained silent and not bothering about the future of students. This is the matter of the future of our Kashmir. Our future is dying.
The Minister of Education Syed Altaf Bukhari is requested to look into this burning issue and withdraw the Semester and CBCS system as soon as possible. One can only hope that the Minister will ensure the academic progress of the college students. We had been already noticing the positive and commendable changes by the minister and we are also expecting to revamp the changes at undergraduate level.
(Syed Kaleem Geelani is an Freelance Writer and can be reached at his email: [email protected])