The challenges to our academic scenario!
By: ABID HUSSAIN RATHER
College life is always seen as a colorful stage during ones youth. Once a person crosses the higher secondary stage and enters into college life, he/she feels delighted to find some freedom and space for open discussions etc. A high flight waits the youth for which one aspires since ages and the stage is set for some real big leap in a fresh direction.
But there is another side to the story as well. This stage is the most crucial one and it becomes a turning point for the career in general. It is that period of life where a person can lay the foundation for a promising future and a single mistake can lead a person to utter negligence and exasperation. The undergraduate courses, we all know quite well, form the basis for high profile competitive examinations and if a person aspires to be a KAS or an IAS officer, he/she has to be much more conscious during this stage.
Besides hardwork and carefulness of students about their careers, some other people, authorities and institutions have their duties to ensure that this sensitive time in the life of a youth is guided and guarded well even though the highest efforts are to be made by the students themselves. Parents, peers and teachers have to play a pivotal role in the whole process so as to ensure that that the choices made by the youth are well thought over and not disapproved for such behavior tends to dishearten and discourage the youth.
Teachers also have major responsibilities and duties regarding career building of students as a teacher should always be ready to extend a helping hand to the students and should always guide them with his/her personal experience. The concerned peer groups, therefore, can also play a significant role in the career building of our future generations.
Colleges should have career counseling cells so that the students can be guided well and helped in their ventures. The syllabus should be framed according to the latest trends and according to the need of the hour while as advanced and technical courses should find adequate place in the college courses. Different kinds of programs can be conducted in colleges to enlighten the students and to prepare them for future challenges.
But we have a different scenario over here and the University of Kashmir can not escape its responsibilities when it comes to poor infrastructure in our colleges, inadequate laboratory equipments and lack of funds for student welfare activities. In some college departments the staff room and department's laboratory are functioning in a single room. The teacher- student ratio, as per UGC norms, is below par and the support staff too is very little.
Sometime ago, we had annual system of examinations in our colleges with descriptive type of questions and students used to find adequate time throughout the year for studies, but then Kashmir University shifted its examination pattern to semester system and proposed to conduct two semesters in a year for undergraduate classes. But we all know the political and instability in our valley as because of it the colleges mostly remain closed resulting in incomplete syllabus covered each year. For appearing in one semester examination, a student needs six or seven months of continuous study while we get just about three, or less, months of study for one semester which adversely affect the performance of students in the exams. Given such scenario, it is hard to even think that our collages produce competent and subject experts at all!
(The author teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at email@example.com)