Stating that education was one of the institutions that make up the social structure of any society, CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Monday urged leadership cutting across political ideologies to come together so that precious time of students in Kashmir isn’t wasted due to the prevailing situation.In a statement issued to PTK he said apart from loss of human lives which irreparable, painful loss of precious academic days of students due to strikes, clashes and curfews is the second biggest loss. Precious academic days have been already lost in the current academic session which in long run will result in our students remaining behind in competitive exams. We have a short academic session in Kashmir already which is further shrunk by public holidays, strike calls and curfews. If you combine the number of shutdown calls, curfews, public holidays, winter and summer vacations, educational institutions in Kashmir remain open for less than 150 days.Education remains an indispensable social institution and remains to be a single most potent tool of development around the globe. Can’t all of us think to find and devise some mechanism so that education doesn’t suffer due to the ongoing unrest? Leadership cutting across political ideologies should come together and find a solution so that students don’t have to suffer due for no fault of theirs. There are several examples in world, where despite wars, unrest and other problems leadership ensured that education doesn’t suffer. Uncertainty and unrest prevails in several areas in the world, but leadership in these areas ensure that education is least affected.
Leadership cutting across political ideologies should arrive to a consensus educational institutions shall be kept away from any unrest, and all the stakeholders need to extend active cooperation for smooth running of the education system. This will need the highest degree of political maturity, strong feeling for a social commitment and support from the executive and mass awareness about the superiority education over all other affairs.Due to frequent closure of schools and colleges, the discontinuity in the education process creeps in which results in irreversible loss to students. Unrest and violence in the Valley has affected young minds the most. The current situation is a throwback to the situation in the early 1990s when educational institutions almost remained closed most of the times. That situation resulted in Kashmiri students lagging far behind in competitive exams at national level during that period.Although literacy rate in the state has risen by more than 10 percent in the last 17 years from 55 percent in 2001 (as per government figures), however, it is still much lesser than the national average of 74.04 percent. When we talk of empowerment, it is only education which can empower us. Education is not merely about employment but it takes a person on the path of knowledge and emancipation. Education is undoubtedly a key element contributing to empowerment. Without education there cannot be empowerment. (PTK)