With Wisdom, Comes Humility.

We know, education is the empowerment that the youth need for a better future of their own as well as their nation and this job is nobly done by a teacher. The teaching has been considered to be the noblest job, and why not, we have every reason to call it so. Before the advent of cluster of private school system, government schools were at full bloom. Most of the marvels came from such government schools, unlike today. Then what has gone wrong that the ‘marvel producing institutions’ have become barren. Who is to be blamed? Sorry to say, but the teachers of government schools have already earned a bad name, which they need to do away with and work a little harder. Education is the means to attain a goal which is progress and teachers make an enduring impact in the lives of students. The greatest of the arts is teaching since the medium is the human mind and spirit. Teachers are the heroes of our society and often called as “builders of nation”. They take the challenge of creating and shaping worlds. The teachers while teaching touch the future of the child. Thus the eligibility for becoming a teacher needs to suffice the strength to take-on such a challenge.

The global economic crunch has forced the youth into darkness and in every country the unemployment has become the biggest menace/headache. But the filling up of posts for the job of teacher needs not to be seen through the prism of policy decisions for reducing unemployment, because in case the less competent persons become the teachers it will serve no good purpose and will add numbers to the unemployment problem by producing less competent students. Our state of Jammu and Kashmir is not an exception. But the rising rate of corruption has marred the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.

The competence of a teacher must not be compromised. The future of a nation depends on the excellence of the teachers, who nourish the growing buds. So the teachers’ competence must be scrutinized prior to letting them to assume such a noble job. The government’s order of conducting screening test for the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers came late but it is a justified move. The case of Faisal Khan Vs. State and others, was an eye opener. A teacher who is not able to write an essay on Cow and cannot solve 4th standard mathematical numerical, do not deserve to be a teacher. Such teachers need to be fished out and shown the door. During a recent protest of teachers, I found them holding placards that had ‘time bound’ spelled as ‘time bond’, which definitely was not a typing mistake. The argument that ReT teachers put forth in their support is that they have been the key factor in increasing the literacy rate in the state, but I must tell those ReT teachers that a herd of students is not what is needed, but what we need to produce is quality students who can compete at all international and national levels. And with such teachers who do not know the difference between ‘bound’ and ‘bond’ or cannot write an essay on Cow, for sure are not eligible to be called or appointed as teachers.

The screening test that has been announced by the government is not any sort of a competitive test at the end of which only a few will be selected. If all of the ReT teachers are capable and competent then they must not be afraid of any such test, and should voluntarily commit themselves for it, to prove their mettle. The argument that by imposing such a test on the ReT teachers the government is adamant to lower their self esteem is a farce, instead by doing so your credibility and worth will get bloomed. Here your credibility is at stake, and Pardon me, but by not sitting in the test you are bringing disgrace to yourselves, by your own.

At first place, the post of ReT is a disgrace to the education system of Jammu and Kashmir. It is highly unfortunate that the government has lowered the status of a teacher by setting the minimum qualification required to be an ReT teacher at 10+2, which is same for the post of a peon or a class 4th employee, thereby sabotaging the appointment through genuine rule of general line system. A government which believes more in governance than in government will never do so, as it is an anti-society policy, which for a moment seemed to be benefiting but for the long run would ruin the quality of education in Jammu and Kashmir and eventually the future. The encumbrances of responsibilities do not end with the ReT teachers. Government has to accept its responsibility as well. ReT teachers were engaged according to certain rules and regulations under which only after the satisfactory results from such teachers they were to be regularized, and the same was done when the stipulated time of 5 years elapsed. Now after 5 years, the government wants to conduct their competency test which means something went wrong at the basic level where ReT’s were allotted the satisfaction certificates. The precious 5 years of the ReT teachers cannot be overlooked. If the government is resolute in taking the test and revolutionizing the education system then the ReT teachers need to be compensated for the previous 5 years as the earlier contract becomes null and void. And at the end if deadwood is found among these ReT teachers then the officers who allotted certificates to them need to be punished, accordingly.

Such innovative and revolutionary steps are always welcome and everyone needs to offer his helping hand so that the foreseen goal is achieved. An education system is needed that shall enhance the creativity and imagination of the students. This step of conducting screening test will surely help in travelling the long journey but there are still many more milestones that need to be crossed.

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Education in government schools.

We know, education is the empowerment that the youth need for a better future of their own as well as their nation and this tough job is nobly done by a teacher. The teaching has been considered to be the noblest job that a person can do, and why not, we have every reason to call it so. Numerous scientists, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, etc are being produced since inception, by teachers. Before the advent of cluster of private school system, government schools were at full bloom. Most of the marvels came from such government schools. unlike today. Then what has gone wrong that the ‘Marvel producing institutions’ have become barren. Who is to be blamed? Teachers? Students? Or someone else? The answer lies in the ‘Interest’ theory. Whose interest? Both teachers’ as well as students’. Just a decade back, the private schools were not in abundance as they are now. The education system has now been marginalized and reduced to an income source. The interest from education has now shifted towards money, and more and more private schools are coming up with high tech facilities while our government schools are left at the mercy of less interested teachers. The lack of interest of the government, who are guardians/trustees of these schools, has forced the parents to move on to private schools. Moreover, the lack of interest shown is sometimes driven by some covert motives such as some private schools are owned by politicians. After state it is the students who must be interested in gaining and seeking more, which can be attained by questioning more. And sometimes it is the capability and capacity of the student as well. Teaching is not a one way transaction. Moreover, the teachers of Govt. Schools have already earned a bad name that they need to do away with and work a little harder. Now if someone argues that ‘my son studies in a government school and he is doing very well’, then it obviously is not just because there are competent teachers teaching him but because he also is interested in his studies. And further, as we know, the last decade has been the most violent phase in Kashmir that has badly impacted education system and mind set of the youth. Then it comes the turn of the teachers who need to take pains and interest in teaching students by their heart without any malice. They need to use new methods to make students more interested in studies. The lack of facilities in government schools, lack of interest and lack of commitment coerced the parents to send their wards to the private schools instead of government schools, leaving the poor and less interested parents’ less interested students’ quota for the government schools. Well, exceptions do occur. By driving teachers out of the schools will surely not solve the problem, but what is needed is ‘Interest driven education system’ in our government schools. The education system that shall enhance the creativity and imagination of the students. A well said quote by John Henrik Clarke “A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson” sums it all.

The Collateral Damage.

It is wedding season, and out there in the field of love there are going to be a lot of fatalities. Well, a fatality is perhaps a strong word but you will see what I mean. In the coming months many of us will attend the lovely wedding ceremonies. You know how it goes down: a couple who have been dating since about the end of the university get married, all of their friends are there, and all goes gloomy. Or may be many of such ceremonies are arranged but still the love birds get enough time to understand each other. Marriages, as they say, are decided in heavens and performed on earth. It is an occasion where two souls become one. Many others even go to the extent of saying that the wife and husband complete each other. And many others give religious references that state that the wife is made from the ribs of the husband. Even the duo is referred to as “better-half” of each other. And at solemnizing the marriage they promise to live together for lives to come. Almost everyone tends to make the relationship an unbreakable bond as marriages are solemnized on oath and affirmation from both the sides and the two souls accept each other, blatantly.
But, this seems to be a past practice that has been rejected by most of the human race, nowadays. Instead of living together in peace for at least a single life has been proven to be a rare occasion. The better halves strive to cut each other into fine halves and even for breaking ribs of each other. The decisions of the heavens seem to have gone wrong. Both the families start to blame that day when the wed-lock happened. All such shift in emotions lead to a bigger tussle which consequently invites the inevitable events. But generally, a marital quarrel is a casual thing and happens everywhere but the trend seems to have changed and the casual is no more casual and the gaffe that could had been handled in a better way is left to develop and becomes a fight for pride and finally a law suit, thereby dragging the ‘pride’ to the courts. The arrogance from both the sides lead to a situation where the so called pride of both the families becomes high and dry and are looked down by everyone. Alike all other battles, in this ‘battle-for-pride’ the one who gets crushed is the weak, who in the latter case is their child[ren]. When parents repeatedly use hostile strategies with each other, most of the children of such families become distraught, worried, anxious and most worriedly hopeless. The couple chooses their fate by their own but the one who is coerced into the oblivion is the child. Desertion due to the break ups between the parents is a form of child abuse. But unfortunately the abusers are their own parents. The abuse is obviously not deliberate neither is it intentionally spiteful and not even conscious. But it is not a mere accident either. Thus children become the collateral damage of the attitude that is adopted by their parents. Children understand resentment and it tells them what is going on and they can work with that. But when parents withdraw and become emotionally unavailable, they do not know what is going on. They just know things are wrong and the withdrawal is a worse trail for them.
Such attitude of the parents lacerate the childhood of their wards, which goes unnoticed by their parents. The frequent fight between the parents sucks the oxygen out of the life of the child and even changes his psych and thus he becomes aggressive and develops behavior problems. Not only is his present affected but his future as well. A deep void gets created inside the body of such a child that no one can fill save for the love and affection of his own parents. The childhood that he was supposed to live under the care and love of his parents just passes by in despair and dilemma. He is forced to live a life of an orphan, even when he actually has both of his parents. Just guess the pain such a kid suffers, maybe we can’t. But we can do much more in order to end such un-noticed abuse and prevent many other children from becoming the collateral damage.