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12-08-2019     3 رجب 1440

Who Loses When Education is Disrupted?

November 11, 2019 | Niloofar Qureshi

There is an old saying that you can recreate lost wealth, but you can’t get back lost time.In Kashmir,a lot of time is being lost due to frequent shutdowns and though this has a negative impact on everything, it’s education that is the most adversely effected. Prolonged closures of schools result in students losing out on studies due to which they are at a great disadvantage while searching for a career in the competitive world of today. Since students aren’t responsible most of the times for closure of academic institutions, people do sympathise with them but no one will make any special concessions in the selection criteria on this account. Thus, students in Kashmir end up as hapless victims of a political fight that shows no signs of ending.
What’s happening in Kashmir today is unfortunate but things weren’t always so bad. Though the movement for ‘right to self-determination’ has been going on for more than 70 years, but frequent closure of schools wasn’t there for the first four two decades. Thus, while our ancestors didn’t make any compromises on the ‘self-determination’ issue, they concurrently ensured that the future of our children wasn’t jeopardised by disruptions in studies. However, ever since militancy took root in Kashmir, closure of schools became such a frequent affair that today a stage has come when no one even thinks about grave consequences of the ‘punishment’ that we are inflicting on our own children in the form of denying them education facility!
It is not intended to either justify the frequent and prolonged closure of schools or blame anyone for it, as there is no point in crying over spilled milk. However, we can’t allow this to continue happening since it is damaging the career prospects of our children and thus it isn’t in best interests of either Kashmir or its people. Therefore, let us take a more pragmatic view of the situation and find a way to ensure that the ‘self-determination’ movement related activities doesn’t disrupt education. To achieve this, there is an urgent need to introspect on certain illogical beliefs that we are currently following and discard those that are detrimental to our interests.
What needs to be thoroughly debated is our fascination with ‘complete shutdowns’ as most of us believe that bigger the magnitude of a shutdown, greater will be its impact on the international community. However, past experience has proved that this isn’t the case. Kashmir experienced a complete shutdown for 61days in 2008, three-months in 2010 and nearly six months in 2016. Yet, despite these unusually protracted protests, the reaction of the international community was no different than what it was for any other short duration protests. If this is the case, then what did we achieve by shutting down schools for such long durations achieve? And since the only victims were our children who lost out on studies during these protests, wasn’t shutting down schools an unwise decision?
Some may say that it is the administration that closes down schools and this has actually happened in many instances. However, even it is intentional, one has to admit that by getting involved in stone pelting, school children give the authorities a good reason for taking such a decision. The issue here is not to quarrel over who is wrong and who’s right but to find out a way to ensure that the children are not deprived of their right to education, because when schools are shutdown, the students are the sole losers. If the younger generation is well-educated, then there will be no dearth of professionals and with plenty of doctors, engineers, lawyers, statesmen and knowledgeable activists who by using their expertise to make life of the people better, will prove to be asset for society.
There can be no better investment than that in education. Students are our future and we must give them the opportunity to study so that they can take their rightful place in society and perform their role effectively. For the last three decades the future of many promising scholars in Kashmir has been ruined just because of schools being shutdown frequently and we cannot afford to keep losing talent to the lack of continuity in education. Since student participation in street protests hasn’t achieved anything in the last three decades, a sincere request to our leaders- get students on the streets if doing so will genuinely help in taking the ‘self-determination’ struggle forward. However, if the benefits of doing so at the cost of their studies are only illusionary, then please ensure that this unproductive practice ceases forthwith!

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Who Loses When Education is Disrupted?

November 11, 2019 | Niloofar Qureshi

There is an old saying that you can recreate lost wealth, but you can’t get back lost time.In Kashmir,a lot of time is being lost due to frequent shutdowns and though this has a negative impact on everything, it’s education that is the most adversely effected. Prolonged closures of schools result in students losing out on studies due to which they are at a great disadvantage while searching for a career in the competitive world of today. Since students aren’t responsible most of the times for closure of academic institutions, people do sympathise with them but no one will make any special concessions in the selection criteria on this account. Thus, students in Kashmir end up as hapless victims of a political fight that shows no signs of ending.
What’s happening in Kashmir today is unfortunate but things weren’t always so bad. Though the movement for ‘right to self-determination’ has been going on for more than 70 years, but frequent closure of schools wasn’t there for the first four two decades. Thus, while our ancestors didn’t make any compromises on the ‘self-determination’ issue, they concurrently ensured that the future of our children wasn’t jeopardised by disruptions in studies. However, ever since militancy took root in Kashmir, closure of schools became such a frequent affair that today a stage has come when no one even thinks about grave consequences of the ‘punishment’ that we are inflicting on our own children in the form of denying them education facility!
It is not intended to either justify the frequent and prolonged closure of schools or blame anyone for it, as there is no point in crying over spilled milk. However, we can’t allow this to continue happening since it is damaging the career prospects of our children and thus it isn’t in best interests of either Kashmir or its people. Therefore, let us take a more pragmatic view of the situation and find a way to ensure that the ‘self-determination’ movement related activities doesn’t disrupt education. To achieve this, there is an urgent need to introspect on certain illogical beliefs that we are currently following and discard those that are detrimental to our interests.
What needs to be thoroughly debated is our fascination with ‘complete shutdowns’ as most of us believe that bigger the magnitude of a shutdown, greater will be its impact on the international community. However, past experience has proved that this isn’t the case. Kashmir experienced a complete shutdown for 61days in 2008, three-months in 2010 and nearly six months in 2016. Yet, despite these unusually protracted protests, the reaction of the international community was no different than what it was for any other short duration protests. If this is the case, then what did we achieve by shutting down schools for such long durations achieve? And since the only victims were our children who lost out on studies during these protests, wasn’t shutting down schools an unwise decision?
Some may say that it is the administration that closes down schools and this has actually happened in many instances. However, even it is intentional, one has to admit that by getting involved in stone pelting, school children give the authorities a good reason for taking such a decision. The issue here is not to quarrel over who is wrong and who’s right but to find out a way to ensure that the children are not deprived of their right to education, because when schools are shutdown, the students are the sole losers. If the younger generation is well-educated, then there will be no dearth of professionals and with plenty of doctors, engineers, lawyers, statesmen and knowledgeable activists who by using their expertise to make life of the people better, will prove to be asset for society.
There can be no better investment than that in education. Students are our future and we must give them the opportunity to study so that they can take their rightful place in society and perform their role effectively. For the last three decades the future of many promising scholars in Kashmir has been ruined just because of schools being shutdown frequently and we cannot afford to keep losing talent to the lack of continuity in education. Since student participation in street protests hasn’t achieved anything in the last three decades, a sincere request to our leaders- get students on the streets if doing so will genuinely help in taking the ‘self-determination’ struggle forward. However, if the benefits of doing so at the cost of their studies are only illusionary, then please ensure that this unproductive practice ceases forthwith!


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.