As someone truly said, “Education is the modification of behavior”. Without an iota of doubt, education plays a crucial and mammoth role in our daily lives. It is also true that it is only a good education that makes an individual responsible and thoughtful and independent. It facilitates our learning, knowledge, skills, values and the importance of all other things that is present in our environment and part of our day today life. The Education sector which is one of the important lists of the constitution of India is mentioned under concurrent list of Indian Constitution. It was through the 42nd amendment act of 1976 the ‘Education sector’ was transferred to concurrent list from the state list. This means not only the state government but central government too is responsible for the overall downfall and the meager growth of the particular sector in Kashmir valley. However, it is an undeniable fact that we as a society, as mentors and veterans are too failed to keep the breath in it. Every day in and out, there are so many articles and reports appearing in newspapers about the poor and unsatisfactory move of this important sector but unfortunately nobody neither the government nor the civil society in particular is ready to take a constructive stand on it. It would not be wrong to say, that the concerned administration totally failed and is fully responsible for the absurd condition of the education sector across the state. This risible role of administration can be perceived from one of a report recently published in the daily Greater Kashmir revealed that “there are 41 schools which are headless in the Bandipora district alone. Further, the report revealed that “among these 41 schools there are 26 higher secondary schools and 17 of them are without principals and out of 50 high schools 24 are without headmasters”. Indeed, this is a grave concern and really shocking. It truly tells us about the future of education sector across the troubled Kashmir valley. We can easily perceive that how much it will affect the functioning of schools, both at the administrative level as well as an academic one. There is one more chilling report about the education sector of Kashmir, as the report mentions that there are 60 headless schools in Kupwara district (GK, 29 June). Else, 104 posts of lecturers are vacant in the same district.
It seems that the whole administration is in deep slumber and is ruining the future of poor student community. Being a citizen of Kashmir, I feel regret and sorry and one thing is constantly hitting my mind is that how these schools are running without heads and other teaching staff. As someone rightly said that “the schools become great not because of their magnificent buildings but because of magnificent principals”. Yes, I vow there are three main components of any school. All the components posses their own importance and place. In the absence of any the component, the existence of school system is unimaginable. One of the main components of school is teacher. Teacher is considered as the backbone of prosperous and healthy society. As G.S Wells one of a great educationist has rightly said that “Teacher is architect of Nation and the maker of man”.
In school teacher’s role is of vital importance. His dynamic personality influences and inspires students. In fact, teacher acts as a roof of the building under which new buds dwells and blooms. But the principal which in itself occupies the whole administration has a very unique position. He is like a Commandant-in-chief of any army. He is life blood of school. His personality, ideals and thoughts affect all the individuals and all activities of school as well. His attitude and policies determine the social prestige of a school. He is like a sun in solar orbit around which all system revolves. He is of utter importance for proper maintenance and discipline in a school. He promotes harmonious development of school as well as semi civilized society. One of a pragmatist and educationist has rightly argued that, “If the principal is active the whole institution will be active and if principal isn’t active whole system of institution will be inactive”. His sheer importance can be perceived by a little and simple example that if the principal of institution comes late than teachers will be late and so will be students. In this way there will be severe leakages in this flow and without taking proper steps on time it will be impossible to heal and recover the oozing wound. Therefore total working and stability of school depend upon principal. Now it is enough to make one understand the role of head in this unfortunate sector in valley. By way of conclusion, it is not only the administration responsible for the mess in schools but the civil society as well. Indeed, we all are responsible for the slow growth of the education sector in our state. The only solution to mitigate and end this unfortunate mess is to work collectively and bring the dull education sector of the state back on track. The administration and society both seems collaborators of this conspiracy. The state government needs to make the education system of the state more accountable and transparent. It is the only sector in Kashmir that will solve the daily issues and other grave concerns in the state, particularly to the 60% youngest generation of the valley.
(The author is pursuing Ph.D. in Education at Aligarh Muslim University. Views are his own email@example.com)