‘Sending education on vacation’
I am writing this letter in this freezing cold not to get any favour, but to draw your kind attention to the important issue of winter vacations. Sir, since my childhood days I am familiar with this vacation syndrome and not a single effort has been made to reverse this unholy custom. In this sorry state of affairs even after 71 years, we are not able to change this pathetic syndrome of winter vacations and the reasons for it are many starting from bureaucratic hurdles to lack of infrastructure etc. Sir, this is shameful for us as a society to send education on vacation, just because we are unable to create proper infrastructure which could create favourable and conducive conditions for us to continue of our academic ambitions despite the harshness of winter.
It is not only that we are shutting schools and colleges during winter, but are denying the basic and fundamental rights to the young and the same, if done anywhere around the globe, would be taken as shocking and shameful as it amounts to depriving our young generation of their future. I am sorry to say this but our successive regimes have been duplicitous in their approach to substitute this shameful syndrome of vacations with a student friendly module. See the highness of duplicity that on one hand educational institutions are closed during winters and private coaching centres and other alternatives are registered and recognised to function as good as schools. This dual approach of government is in no way benefiting the students, rather puts huge financial burden on the poor parents to send their children to private coaching against hefty amounts.
For me I see many reasons to this problem, and one among them is corruption to which your Highness also referred in recent press conference. I appreciate your gesture of accepting that corruption is the biggest problem in the state of Jammu and Kashmir from the highest office in the state. At least you are not in the state of denial.
Sir, let’s try sending ideas including construction of roads and buildings, highways, elections, subsidies, selections, promotions and perks to officials and politicians etc on vacation, and see how everything shall come to a standstill. But sending education on vacation is the abuse of basic human right and ironically, nobody is concerned! As a society and government we have failed to compensate this loss since decades.
No doubt it is the collective responsibility of all, but being a bigger stakeholder the responsibility lies more on the state. Therefore, it becomes very important to highlight this issue during the drafting of the state budget, so that we can see our wards in schools with high tech infrastructure and central heating system next winter rather than at homes. Finally I may conclude by suggesting your kind self to create a separate educational infrastructure budget, so that we can anticipate the harshness of winter to vacate in educational institutions. Our budget should focus more on education and educational infrastructure rather than other subjects this time. There is a dire need to invest in this field keeping in view the global educational scenario.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Lawyer & Research Scholar
School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir