An Ode to a College!

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MOHAMMAD SHOAIB

Where students can freely meet discus talk and exchange views not just amongst themselves but also with the faculty and staff is actually an ideal situation that helps in creating an excellent learning environment for children and young adults. How many institutions are in the valley where students debate with each other and also with the faculty on issues that really mean something to them? The very fact that teaching is a profession entails that it is a specialized activity for which training is required through particular institutions. A great institution will bring forth individuals committed to the profession and destined to make their mark.
While I am in no position to speak about other colleges, however, I would like to mention that the Government College of Education, Srinagar, which, for me, is not only a college but a high quality training institution producing some fine brains. I have spent my days in this resourceful institution which elegantly secured the nomenclature of a “quality school” among the students those days.
While it would be inappropriate to mention all the names of the faculty members and also some colleagues who I hold in great respect, generally the professional aura and the unparalleled quality that characterizes this institution is simply among the best.
We must understand that what promotes quality is not mere fact that an institution has sound faculty and efficient teachers like this model institute enough to excel in the standards of primary, secondary and higher education, but the overall structuring of courses, conduct, a conducive atmosphere and so on are all important factors that go on making an institution a great one.
I still remember that the college had courses drawn to share and consolidate experience and observe the advanced tools of the teaching-learning process. Facts reveal that this institution has contributed a lot for the education in Kashmir by producing quality teachers.
Usually the teachers and students of this college try their best to promote same patterns outside but never get the support system from their higher ups. This college is a unique example of holding extra-co-curricular activities.
What more excellence can be expected from a government college that too functioning in a turbulent valley. I sometimes ask myself that why one doesn’t develop similar feelings in and about Kashmir University? The answer lies in the question itself: if one has to compare the two- it is easily to distinguish Kashmir University which is more based on coercion rather than liberty and freedom while as the college is based on diversity of opinion and freedom of discussion and debate.
If we could run an institute with no coercion and our total emphasis is on quality were students evaluate their own work, what better than that? This will work for those lads who even don’t have any interest in school; breaking down the adversarial relationship that normally exists between students who are forced to go to school and the teachers who are frustrated because so many of the students refuse to learn should visit this college.

—The writer is a former student of the College of Education. He can be reached at: shaibm60@gmail.com