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In Kashmir- we need Educational Reforms and Change in mindsets

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By: Tahir Mushtaq

When the world is becoming more and more advanced and making new discoveries and inventions in every walk of life, we seem to have gotten stuck in an obsolete system of education. The countries in the west have developed a new paradigm in educational sector in which new methodological and evaluation approaches are applied and sharpened by every passing day. There is intensification in the learning and teaching process from the premise of opportunity, future investment, social responsibility and better orientation.

In India and particularly in the state of Jammu and Kashmir- Education system is crippled with no major reforms having taken place. When education is meant to be more action oriented and practical in order to be able to transmit its practical applications in our day to day lives, we are lingering on with the age old system of theoretical approaches. Today, more than ever, we must make use of the phrase- "Tell me and I forget it, teach me and I remember it, involve me and I learn it".

We must develop a system which grants greater stability to the education sector and gives greater relevance to competences such as creativity, critical thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship and the use of new technologies in training and employment. We must aim at strengthening leadership skills, appreciate beauty in the arts and teach children to be resilient, that is to adapt to changes.

New technologies must be made available in an academic ambience that allows a better teaching-learning process through the network and with the assistance of highly trained teachers in digital skills. The Universities, as in other parts of the world, must be synonymous with innovation and new ideas.

A mechanism to make public policies and the programs in accordance with the educational sector and must be formulated and tested since any effect or implication of these policies and programs are achieved in short as well as long term.  Schools should be able to overcome the limitations imposed in context of learning and generate, from reflection among teachers and educational authorities, different forms of learning processes. The different programs and study materials should promote experimentation, application and practice of knowledge, its application to specific situations.

We have deep voids in our social system, a great effort will be necessary to fill the gap and for this purpose teachers should be trained and infrastructure of the educational institutes should be improved.

Another major problem in Kashmir society is that we don’t think beyond Medical and Engineering courses, willingly or by pressure from parents who foresee other such options as viable and for that a huge sum of money is spent on tuition and coaching. Teenagers who have hardly been away from home before have to live on their own.

As a society, we have to grow and our government must invest more and more on education so as to ensure that the future generations are guided in the right directions. The professional choices must not be confined to a few options alone and rather the scope has to be widened and broadened by the help of a strategy that is formulated keeping in mind the ever changing dynamics of academics in the world.

The author is an engineering student and can be reached at tahirmushtaq37@gmail.com

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