Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Easy Come, Easy Go: A new scam is exploiting both parents and children

Coaching centres turn into money minting centres

Coaching Centres are turning into money minting centres


Srinagar, Jan 30: The coaching centres are fast turning out to be money minting centres. The primary focus of these institutions is to grab money rather than providing quality education to students.

Hundreds of coaching centres have been established in Srinagar city. In every nook and corner, a coaching centre has been set-up with the claim of providing best and quality education to children studying in these centres. But there is a general feeling among the masses here that these centres instead of providing quality education to children are fast turning out to be money minting centres.

The coaching centres are now resorting to exploitation. They have set pre-conditions, wherein a parent of a ward cannot refund the money in case he wants his/her children to be shifted from that coaching centre. The refunding of money is not applicable in rules and regulations of these coaching centres.

“I came all the way from Anantnag to study here. But the quality is not upto the mark. I am stuck here as I have paid Rs 10000 as advance. The money cannot be refunded back,” said Naseer Ahmed, a student studying in a private coaching centre in city centre.

The coaching centres have been able to attract large number of students by resorting to bombardment of advertisements. “These institutions claim to provide quality education but like the government schools the teachers in these centres too fail to do justice with their job and provide quality education to the students,” said Reyaz Ahmad, a banker.

Reyaz had admitted one of his sons in the coaching centres and is now repenting his decision. “Through advertisements these tuition centres create such an impression that we get tempted to admit our children in these study centres. My child is not satisfied with the teaching quality,” said Abdul Rehman.

Such is the demand for the coaching centres that a teacher teaches more than 100 students under a single roof and uses microphones to deliver lectures.

“Hundreds of students study here and the hall remains jam packed. Today I was few minutes late and I had to stand on stairs outside the lecture hall,” said Adil Amin, a student of one of the renowned coaching centres in Srinagar.

A retired teacher, Abdur Rehman said, “Few years ago Education Department banned the private tuitions but the law was not implemented later. Had it been implemented so many tution centres would not have come and people would not have been exploited by the management of the coaching centres”.

Like others, Rehman too demanded that the government should look into the matter and prevent the coaching centres from looting people. “Some guidelines should be framed for these institutions so that people are not looted and quality education is provided to their wards,” they added.

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