Srinagar: Kashmir center for social and development studies (KCSDS), in a meeting, deliberated on the state of higher education today in Kashmir and expressed grave concern over the deteriorating quality on the one hand and mad rush for opening new colleges on the other.
The existing colleges that have been opened in the past decade or so are bereft of basic infrastructure both in terms of teaching faculty and the infrastructure needed to carry on the process of education smoothly and satisfactorily.
The quality of higher education has steadily deteriorated because of unplanned extension of education without the necessary concomitant infrastructure both in terms of human power and basic facilities. We will be coming up with a detailed report on what ails higher education in coming days. So is true of the quality of govt school education. Otherwise, students wouldn’t go to the coaching centres if they were quite satisfied with their respective educational institutes.
The govt’s shutting down educational institutions every now and then to stall protests by students over the gruesome killings of youth and other horrific acts amounts to the endorsement of such crimes. Instead of providing safe space for peaceful protests and free speech and expression within the educational institutions, govt has closed all avenues for students of individual and collective expression in a free, safe and peaceful atmosphere.
Govt’s abruptly closing coaching centres is an unthinking hasty step in the wrong direction. It has closed them without taking into consideration how much parents have already paid to the centres by way of fees. And how they are making a rude interruption in the academic life of students of all levels who go to these centres. Govt’s job is to act as a watch dog against exorbitant fees and overload in classes the centres hold as well as in private schools.
But instead, it reneges its responsibility in streamlining the private sector to benefit the citizenry and is instead creating hurdles even in the academic life of students. This is tyranny of the highest order.- to disturb and disrupt educational career of our young scholars just to show political power and control over the lives of citizens as if military control were not enough, as if they do not have already enough problems to deal with in this blighted land.
The govt must immediately order the opening of these centres to put students’ academic life back on tracks, to save their precious time without further adding to their problems.
It should desist henceforth from closing educational institutions for fear of protests.Let the students be allowed to express themselves and their anger in a peaceful atmosphere.
Formation of student unions allows for the expression of their dreams and desires, urges and aspirations and their anger at the state of affairs in which they find themselves, in which their brothers and sisters are brutally killed and crippled. They need a safe space to express all this so that they do not grow into psychologically disturbed and suppressed characters. And their precious study time is not rudely disrupted.
The govt must, first of all, provide all the faculty and infrastructure in the already established colleges before they open new silos to encamp the young generation. (KNS)