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.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Manufactured Mediocrity

Growing up in a lawless land where government servants are the first to observe illegal hartals declared by separatists has its downside on the young

Srinagar govt schools top zero performance list

Danish Nabi (Greater Kashmir)

Srinagar: Recently declared matric examination results by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education has yet again revealed a dismal performance of the government schools in Kashmir with 19 of them showing zero performance and the rest failing to match the success rate of their private counterparts.

The results were declared on December 19 which showed a pass percentage of 63.94. Around 44587 students had appeared in the examination and 28507 out of them were declared successful.

However, in every district of the Valley the results are a tell-tale of private schools outclassing the government ones. In Srinagar, several government schools have achieved zero per cent success in the examinations despite having minimal number of students enrolled.

In Government Boys High School Ahmada Kadal only four students had appeared in the examination but none came out successful. The others in the list are Government Girls High School Gassi Mohalla and Government Girls High School M K Sahib Safa Kadal, which had four and a single student enrolled respectively.

The performance of other government schools doesn’t look impressive either. For instance, in Government Boys High School Sangam Eidgah two students out of 37 have come out successful showing a pass percentage of mere 5.41.

Following Srinagar is Budgam district where at least four schools are with zero per cent success. All seven students of Government High School Cheki Sardar, nine of Government High School Najan, four of Government High School Riyarich and three of Government Higher Secondary School Hardu Ranzo have failed.

Government High School Pallar Budgam had 10 students enrolled but nine out of them are unsuccessful.

Topping the list of failures among districts, however, is Varmul with seven government schools showing zero per cent success. These include Government Boys High School Divar Singhpora, Government Boys High School Heewan Varmul, Government Girls High School Khandinyar Varmul, Government High School Khahmoh Rafiabad, Government High School Parampillan and Government Higher Secondary School Dangerpora.

While Ganderbal district has a single school with zero output, government schools in other districts aren’t far behind in poor performances. In Bandipora, the Government School with maximum number of students, 53, has a pass percentage of 5.66. Similarly, in Government Girls Higher Secondary School Bijbehara Islamabad only 23 students have passed out of 114.

Pertinently, the average pass percentage for private schools is around 70 per cent while there are only four schools where all students appearing in the examination have failed.

Secretary Education, G A Peer, attributes the poor performance to admission policies. “The cream of the students goes to private schools and it gives them better outputs,” he said. “Moreover we don’t go for the screening test before exams unlike private schools,” he added

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