September 2017 News

Spare Education, Students From All Political Activities: Edu Min

28 September 2017
Rising Kashmir
Yawar Hussain

Srinagar: Education Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari on Thursday termed education as the 'worst casualty' of the socio-political issues of Kashmir valley, calling for exempting education and students from all political activities. Bukhari was speaking at the first annual convocation of the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education organized here to felicitate 104 meritorious students of the state. The minister said the issues were hampering the growth of students to compete on global platforms. 'Education sector has been going through turmoil as it becomes the first victim of any social or political programmes,' he said. Bukhari said owing to the uncertain political scenario in the state, children raised up in last twenty years have been 'deprived of the quality of childhood' which was enjoyed by the generations of Kashmiri children born before 1990. 'Both history and geography hasn't been fair to us and we live in a place where everything is on tentative tenterhooks,' Bukhari said. 'We don't know what will happen next day here. Everything is marred by uncertainty.' He further said the childhood which the affected children deserved cannot be given back to them, but the government can give them quality education which stays with them throughout their lives. While castigating the budget allocation for the education sector, Bukhari said in meetings of the planning department and budget allocation, education has always taken a back seat. 'In a meeting in Delhi of the Ministry of Human Resource Department, I got to know that the budget allocation for the education sector has been cut by 51 percent,' Bukhari said, adding in a nation where literacy rate is low, the budget allocation to the sector should be higher. 'Only god knows what we are giving to our children when we cut the budget allocation to the education sector.' Appealing to the policy planners and bureaucrats to treat education at priority, Bukhari termed education as a 'noble deed' which he said can help policy planners spiritually. The minister also said the Board was going through turmoil and certain things are beyond his control. 'We are using all the means to bring in safe use of technology but then we have certain issues which aren't in our hands,' he said. Terming the felicitation ceremony of students as a step to inspire upcoming generations of students, Bukhari said the convocations like this will imbibe a competitive mind-set in the younger students who will thrive towards being part of such felicitation functions in future. He directed the Secretary Education, Farooq Shah, to work on developing a feedback-redressal mechanism for the teachers so they can come up with suggestions to make the functioning of the department better. Bukhari, while equating the private schools in the state as partner to the government, said the department does not see them as competitors. 'They (private schools) should have a say in the education department. A large amount of students study in their schools,' Bukhari added.