Generally speaking, and by and large, experience is everything. But, in Kashmir, we tend to postpone experience and prefer the speculative over it. This is perhaps best illustrated in our education system that produces over qualified people with a proficiency more in theory than anything else. But, theory is theory- a realm of abstract thought and thinking- that can , at best, inculcate the theoretical method, and, at worse, nothing substantive. In this sense then, our students are not only deprived of experience but also experiential learning which is the new name in game , with regard to all levels of education. Our students are also then, in comparison to students elsewhere left disadvantaged in the realm of both learning and life skills. This postpones their reckoning and they then become dependent. While the student instance was to illustrate by way of an example, the lack of real and substantive experience holds in many walks of life and cuts across sections of society in Kashmir. Our young go on studying and studying and when it comes to find a job, they are either over qualified or have no experience that would benefit their employers- real and potential. This is the norm in Kashmir leaving its students stunted emotionally and in terms of skill and experience. The reasons, yet again generally speaking, accrue from family support and an overprotective family that does not want to make a given young student face the world. All this is not to suggest that we give up on family protections afforded to our young and mimic the West. No. But, we while protecting your young must also make them face the world as well. However, the first step should and must be in the realm of learning and education which must instead of the rote variety merely geared toward tests through and by exams also test a given student comprehensively. The young students of Kashmir must be inculcated the skill and aptitude for critical thinking and experiential learning and also face the life and the world. All this must be complemented by skill based learning which does not merely churn out over qualified young men and women that, honestly speaking, are of no use but young men and women of mettle and substance. All this calls for a total paradigm shift in approaches to learning and experience before it is too late.
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