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By: Gh Hassan Bhat

This is in response to the news published in this newspaper on 14/12/20 regarding the large scale student enrollment drives in zone Tangmarg Baramulla. This is indeed a rejuvenating initiative taken by education department under the guidance of Director Edu and concerned CEOs and ZEOs.

Enrollment drive is a new concept, has gained much importance during last few years derived mainly to increase roll of students in government schools. However, it has other far reaching motives too. It is actually a public campaign to mobilize and aware people at large scale about the RTE (Right to Education) which guarantees every child right to have free and compulsory education under various constitutional provisions. This is the concept which obliterates mistrust between people and government schools.

I myself being one of the participants of this campaign visited more than 400 plus households across Tangmarg area accompanied by other team members. It was the life lesson to interact with people of diverse thoughts consisting of young, old, women, men, panchayat bodies, civil societies etc. It is only because of the feedback of these people, I am writing this to make my higher ups aware about the current situation at gross root level.

While interacting, I was always full of hope, optimistic, energetic and enthusiastic and tried my utmost to motivate/aware people regarding the subject matter. Mostly, I promised everyone that their wards will get quality education, education that will help them to compete in every field of their life. I often tried to convey that the future of their children would be in safe hands. I also told them about different salient facilities being provided in our schools viz, free uniform, free text books, free MOM, free bags, scholarships, ICT facilities, modern Science and Math equipments besides organisation of educational tours. Believe me despite being proud to announce this all; I was often beset with some difficult questions even by some old aged persons.

At times I was left speechless when people would raise questions for which I had no answers. For instance, while talking about free uniform, people pointed out that stitched uniforms are being provided to their wards in a haphazard manner without caring about the size and thus can’t be used. Common people complained about age old syllabus being followed in government schools that too with sub-stand making students suffer throughout the year.

Change in MOM scheme is need of the hour besides the government schools lack necessary infrastructure. Need is to equip educational institution with modern facilities like computers etc. with trained qualified teachers. People also pointed out that there is no concept of accountability in government schools and also raised the issues of hygiene and cleanliness. These are the issues that the government, especially, officers of education department need to focus on seriously. If we want government schools to flourish and make them attractive for students, these issues are to be taken care of. Officials, teaching community, teachers unions – all have to join heads and hands to tackle the entire lacuna and bring about the desired change.

However, despite all these challenges, we are inching towards success. Education zone Tangmarg Baramulla has achieved a landmark of more than 1500 new admissions. Together we can bring a change.

“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.”

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