Akeel Rashid

Banning Tuition Centers: Sweeping problems of Education under the carpet?

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Education Minister, Altaf Bukhari, is right in saying that “the private tuition centers are proving to be a distraction for the students in Kashmir” but with this right thing which he has asserted, keeping education and politics apart, the minister has also raised a right question, at the right time which no one but he himself as a competent authority is liable to answer. What makes the students to opt for this distraction? As of now, I have no idea what Education Minister has to say about the aforementioned question, but in my view it is the non-performance of schools and colleges, both private and government, that compel the students to join the private classes. The Education Minister has also acknowledged the under-performance of Educational Institutes by saying that the Education Department will start to work on its ‘long-standing loopholes’ – by facilitating extra classes for the students in the Educational Institutions – that allow the private tuition centers to come into the scene.

More to the point, the school going students particularly 10th, 11th and 12th, besides the college going students particularly those who are pursuing degrees in ‘Science Streams’ are conditioned to think that they will not be taught appropriately at their respective institutes, so it is necessary for them to go for Private Tuitions. The same takes place under the very nose of authorities and thereby makes it clear that the ‘distraction’, which the minister has been referring to flows from the Educational Institutions itself. It further clarifies that the remedy for eliminating this ‘distraction’ is not in closing down the Private Tuition Centers but the remedy lies in opening up about the failures of Educational Institutions to provide quality education, particularly those run by the government.

Now by inserting politics into the Education Minister’s decision, what one can further draw from his decision is that the impetus for closing down the Private Tuition Centers comes from the fact that some students who are getting much of their syllabus completed through Private Classes are least concerned about the closure of Schools and Colleges. So Mr. Altaf Bukhari believes that banning the private tuition centers will help the Government to clampdown on the student protests taking place across the valley.

The educational institutions of Kashmir have literally no role to play in the Education System of Kashmir other than that of a clerical one, in which those employed are performing the routine documentation and administrative tasks only that include collecting fee, maintaining records, conducting exams besides doing such other things. And Education is the last priority in these educational institutions.

Coming again on crux of the matter which pertains to the banning of Private Tuition Centers in Kashmir, the same was a half baked plan because the Minister has not considered the fact, while making the decision, that many Tuition Centers may have charged the fee in advance from the students who have sought admission in the said institutes, and that money cannot go unaccounted into the treasuries of these private tuition centers.

As the government is yet to reach a logical conclusion with regard to its decision to close down the Private Tuition Centers for a period of 90 days, this knee-jerk decision for now implies that the government is “sweeping under the carpet” the problems of Education in Kashmir .


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