By: Shiekh Jamsheed
Srinagar: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has prominently seen enormous upheavals and commotion in its education sector from time to time due to various reasons. Education has seen and been an area which has been hit the worst due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moreover, we shall discuss also about the poor education system in the backward and distant areas of UT Kashmir, and various steps to be ensured for the efficiency and improvement in educational fronts in the backward areas of UT. There are various sectors in Kashmir who have gone through the worst of scenarios but the area that I am deeply focusing upon is the education sector.
Effective learning fronts which involve consistent, valuable interactions with students that bring them guidance. Education in such times can be a sustainable tool for achieving post conflict peace and providing stability and normalcy to the region. It is also a means of instilling new hope, stability and grabbing positivity as well as offering opportunity to the youth who are surrounded by severe violence.
The United Nations documents show that due to Covid-19 pandemic there have been unprecedented disruptions to the education system ever seen in history. It estimates that 1.6 billion students have been badly impacted in more than 190 countries across the world. The Kashmir region has also been a victim of the same.
Furthermore, the education that is received by children in rural and backward areas of UT Kashmir is extremely standard. Undoubtedly, the backbone of quality education is entrenched in primary level schooling. This is the period where children are taught the basics which help them learn advanced concepts with ease as they grow up.
Correct execution of primary level schooling at the backward and rural areas of UT Kashmir along with ensuring each student receives proper guidance in those initial years becomes fundamental towards achieving sustainable goals in the near future and help the students earlier to accomplish their goal of survival. But, in the backward areas of UT Kashmir we make sure that children come to school but the education they are gaining, the learning outcomes they need to be monitored when it comes to maintaining the bright minds of our nation, only making education attainable to all isn’t enough.
The quality of education being admitted becomes a crucial factor in improving the overall quality of life – the first step towards bringing positive reforms in society. Hence, ensuring the quality of education rendering to the student’s at backward and in the remotest areas of Kashmir would get innumerable positive learning outcomes respectively.
There are a number of factors that affect performance among rural students and backward area’s students in UT Kashmir. There are several challenges that students in distant area’s students are facing, mainly deprivation from better road connectivity, frequent power cuts, deprived from better internet connectivity. There are many steps which need to be monitored and ensured in order to bring effective learning fronts in the remotest areas of UT Kashmir.
Firstly, admitting the quality of education must go hand in hand. When we talk about the quality of education the first basic amenities which comes into our mind is its infrastructural facilities such as classrooms, better water and sanitation facilities, availability of electricity, learning outcomes through skill-based projects and seminars, admitting and accessing sports equipment, better learning materials and implementation of Mid-day meal schemes.
Most importantly, there is a lack of the training of the teacher’s, they have done their basic qualifications but they are not adequately trained hence we need to work on that front as well. Furthermore, there are other steps which can be ensured in order to bring the quality of education in the distant areas of UT Kashmir Valley.
1) Quality of teaching and teachers: A well-organized teacher can make a massive difference in the child’s education. Teachers play a pivotal role in ensuring that students pursue the appropriate knowledge that keeps their minds flickering for seeking dexterity and efficiency simultaneously. In fact, students’ like or dislike attending classes or interests in a particular subject can be developed because of their teacher and his/her quality of teaching. There is no doubt with the fact that the teachers play such a pivotal role in swaying and prompting the quality of education so this step needs to be ensured keenly and gravely.
2) Making use of modern-day technology: To enhance the education system in the distant areas of UT Kashmir, it is the need of the hour to focus on technology and its benefits. The world we live in is technology-driven. So adapting accessibilities to modern digital facilities to the students can be a very effective step so we need to work on this front as well. Moreover, teachers should make sure of their regular attendance and should ensure adequate training in order to adapt better learning outcomes at the same time.
3) Increase in the number of schools in the remotest areas of UT Kashmir: For children to enrol in the school government requires to establish more educational institutes. Undoubtedly, Due to the scarcity and unavailability of schools in far flung areas makes it difficult for the students to reach school and learn. Hence by working efficiently on this front it will surely be quite helpful for the children of distant areas. Additionally, Government should take steps for those who come from a very low financial background, the government should provide them with free textbooks, laboratory facilities, and other perks so that education doesn’t seem like a burden to their parents.
4) Infrastructure facilities: The students who belongs to mountainous areas are deprived from various basic facilities like non-availability of roads, power-shortage, mainly they are deprived from internet connections which is indeed a matter of concern, while we are talking about digital India but such distant areas of (UT Kashmir) are even unable to access the better internet facilities, lacks the better linkage of roads as well so Government should work on this front as well so that students from distant areas can compete with the rest of the world equally.
Moreover, supervision of execution to achieve tangible goals, monitoring is must. The education department can set up a team which can visit these schools to check functionality and effectiveness. We can encourage students to attend schools by emphasizing the importance of education to the economically weaker sections (EWS) of society as well.
In conclusion, there is no doubt with this fact that ” The world is witnessing rapid changes in knowledge landscape with big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning getting incorporated in education scheme, whereas in Kashmir, it’s remotest and backward areas are still struggling to provide basic education to channelize and conduct the energy of youth in right direction.
There are innumerable reasons for the lagging education standards. Urgent and revolutionary measures are needed to improve this fundamental problem of lagging education if we want to overcome the challenge of despondency and desperateness, if we genuinely want to take out the backward areas of UT Kashmir from such predicament, we need to improve the education standards in terms of both – quality and quantity.
The Author Shiekh Jamsheed can be contacted on Email: firstname.lastname@example.org