Talented Students

Talented Students

In various competitive exams, Kashmiris are proving their mettle beyond doubt. This reflects, among other things, the natural intelligence of the people of the vale and the fact that education has expanded in Kashmir and the desire for education , which cuts across classes, is also growing. It may be pointed out here that making it in competitive exams is not the prerogative of the elite; students from less privileged backgrounds and those whose schooling has not been in elite schools are doing very well. This, to repeat, points out to the natural intelligence of our student cohort. But, while all this is great and fantastic, it must give us pause. The reasons are multifarious. One is that while there is a robust demand for education in Kashmir, the supply is lagging and , most of the times, of poor and shoddy quality.( It then is amazing that some of our students excel and shine). This , among other things means, while some students do very well but many fall in the cracks of the educational structures here which is in the nature of a travesty because these students are hard done by for no fault of theirs. In the process, the life chances of these hapless students are undermined. There is also the broader issue of chanellizing the intelligence and talents of our students. That is to say not all students have the same aptitude for ,say a discipline like engineering or medicine but are compelled either by social or parental pressure or are constrained by lack of meaningful choices. It goes without saying that not everyone can become engineers or doctors for a multiple set of reasons. So, yet again, this leaves many in the doldrums. To obviate this our young students must be mentored and career choices made contingent on the nature of their respective talents and aptitudes. The option of studying in foreign universities must also be made available to them. A foreign education which not only imparts incisive and path breaking type of education and by account of different exposures must not be the prerogative of the elite only. It must be accessible to all. In sum , Kashmiri students are an astute, intelligent lot but because of paucity of learning opportunities and other assorted issues, many are and remain hard done by. This condition must change and robust, multidimensional education be made available to all.