Introduction to KashmirForum.org 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.
www.kashmirforum.org

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

With Most Private Schools Per Capita in India, Kashmir has yet to Produce Outstanding Academic Scholars on a Consistent Basis

And here is the reason why - three related stories on issues of the day disturbing the young scholarly minds in Kashmir ...



School children burdened with extra classes

Srinagar: The announcement of curtailment of holidays and holding of extra classes by most of the educational institutions to compensate for the loss of working days in the wake of the recent mass agitation has not gone well with the parents of lower class students. They believe that such measures are suitable for the higher classes only as small children need more time to comprehend the lessons.

Many parents spoke to Rising Kashmir regarding the “inaptness” of holding extra classes for primary class students with curtailment of holidays. Parents blamed the school authorities of overburdening the students of primary classes by assigning them many assignments with tight deadlines.

One of the parents, Kuldeep Kour expressed serious concern for “coercing” the children to complete the already large syllabus by the school authorities to meet the examination in time without bearing in mind its negative effects on the children.“Due to heavy workload in school my son who is in 4th standard felt unconscious and subsequently became febrile,” she said.

Muhammad Rafiq another parent said, “With the pending of the syllabus, the school authorities besides conducting frequent classes give tough assignments to the children, which is really frustrating for them.”Rafiq said the timetable for examination has been set taking into account the programme of the Coordination Committee which indicates that the schools are more eager to rid themselves of the burden rather then sincerely thinking of compensation of the loss of working days.

Parents are of the opinion that the students of primary classes should be promoted to the next class in time and if felt necessary the examinations of the previous classes can be held during the first or second month of the new academic session.“This way any loss of time is made good and no one escapes from being examined properly,” added Rafiq.

Commenting on the issue, Director Education, Shagufta Parveen said, “I don’t think the primary classes have huge syllabus. But since the parents are complaining about it, we will look into the matter for its immediate solution.”

Sopore college students stage demo : Demand relaxation in time, syllabus

Sopore: Students of Sopore Degree College on Monday staged protest demonstrations demanding reduction in syllabus in view of the time lost due to strikes and curfew imposed in the Valley.

Infuriated over the decision of Kashmir University to hold examinations on time with complete syllabus, hundreds of students protested in college campus demanding relaxation in time and syllabus.Shouting slogans against Kashmir University and government, students said the varsity decision of holding examinations on time is injustice with them. "We have just completed 20 percent syllabus. We were ignored in the meeting of Principals where the decision of conducting examinations was taken," said a student Javid Ahmed of B.A 3rd year. "They should change time of examination or reduce syllabus otherwise we will take to streets now," said Tunfail Inafayat, a student of final year."We have already lost time of two months due to strikes and curfew.

It seems that they are taking revenge on us for taking part in protests by holding examination on time," the students said adding that they will continue with the protests.Later the students dispersed peacefully after submitting memorandum to the Principal of the college demanding relaxation in syllabus.The class work was hit in the college as students took part in protests.

Students appeal to KU authorities

Srinagar: Students from various professional colleges today appealed to the Kashmir University authorities to allow them to take their vehicles into the campus premises during examinations period. A group of students of Government Medical College here said they were not allowed to take in their vehicles into campus. “We appeal to the authorities to treat our admit cards as vehicle passes,” said a women student of pre-final. The students said they have to walk a long distance to reach their respective centres.

1 comment:

Manish said...

I think every state government should introduce new system of learning for their students. Online learning is on area where every school should focus on, it is very affordable and accessable and it's fun as well so there is no extra burden for students. Try sites like http://www.extramarks.com