The Challenge

The Challenge
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Education in this day and age is not a top down management affair or even “gig”, so to speak. It is a multi stakeholder, holistic, cross cutting domains endeavor where society, parents, the educational infrastructure like schools, colleges and universities comprise its essential eco system. However, notwithstanding all this, student(s) remain the centre of gravity of educational philosophies, systems and processes. This is the theory as well as the practice but delivery of education in a place like Kashmir, riven by conflict, remains a special challenge. As recent events corroborate and validate, the political conditions and milieu in Kashmir are defined by such staggering uncertainty and fluidity, that predicting the next moment, let alone day or week, is fraught and almost well nigh impossible. By way of a little bit of a digression here, it may be pertinent to point out key to the educational process and endeavor is momentum. That is, the process of education delivery must not be stalled, either in fits and starts or at a sustained degree. The question then, in terms of Kashmir, is : how, given the fundamental uncertainty and fluidity that defines the region, be education delivered seamlessly, or in the least, without major interruptions. The answer to this question is not easy. Delivering education in Kashmir without hiccups is a major challenge which, however, has to be taken head on given that the future of our youth is contingent on it. Here the stakeholder concept becomes operative and key. All stakeholders in the education value chain and delivery system(s) must take both a long and short view of imparting education in Kashmir. They must partner together and ensure momentum of and to education, to the extent possible, under given conditions in Kashmir. One practical step or measure that could be taken is to review processes and integrate technology into the process of education delivery. Second, it may also behoove schools and colleges to formulate and devise educational curriculums and syllabi in such a way that not much is lost in imparting these. Flexible schedules and timelines must also be devised and executed. These are not exhaustive measures. All stakeholders can sit together and devise more robust mechanisms. In the final analysis, the conflict in and over Kashmir is a constant and conditions will remain fluid and uncertain for the foreseeable future. But, this should not and must not mean that our student fraternity suffers.

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