- “Stop framing such policies, work towards betterment of the education”
Srinagar: Two days after, the Jammu and Kashmir administration directed the school education department to reduce the screen time of online classes, the Jammu and Kashmir Education Chamber (JKEC) Thursday said the move will hamper the academics and termed ‘order’ unacceptable.
In a statement issued here, the JKEC said online classes in no way can compensate for the brick and mortar classrooms, but these are extraordinary times which need extraordinary measures.
“At present online classes are the best available option for students, but unfortunately recent J&K government order directing schools to reduce screen time will put a dampener on the academic session,” it said.
The JKEC spokesman said they too are against online classes but in the given situation what is the alternative?
“The government decision is bereft of any logic and will only harm the educational interest of students. In the name of helping students the order will surely destroy careers and deprive students of quality education,” he said.
The spokesman said private schools comprise a major stakeholder and it is imperative for the government to take on board every stakeholder before announcing any policy change.
“Our question is why we were not taken on board and instead the government lied on this front. On what basis and research did they announce a reduction of screen time,” he said.
The statement further said schools can decide academic issues and processes in line with the opinion of national and international experts. It is not based on the whims of a single person.
“There is full evidence based logic behind every policy. On the contrary the government decision is an ill thought out experiment. What is the logic behind changing the education policy in the middle of an academic session,” the JKEC questioned.
He said it is not that students are exposed to screens only during online classes. Most of the students go for private tuition and coaching classes. Here they are subjected to more screen time. Will the government put curbs on that too, the JKEC spokesman questioned.
“Every minute of screen time is aimed to provide quality education and prepare the students for the future. Restrictions without any scientific reason will surely harm the academics,” the JKEC spokesman said.
“Even we at the Chamber are discussing the situation with experts and other stakeholders. We will be taking parents on board before reducing screen time. We are seeking opinion polls and feedback from parents,” he said.
The JKEC spokesman said it is not that there are students only in Kashmir and the government is too concerned for them. There are students in other states and other countries too. Did those places also drastically cut the screen time?
“Children are the same everywhere, if the government is so much concerned about Kashmiri children then they should also advocate for implementing the same policy in the entire country,” the spokesman said.
The JKEC Spokesman said a single wrong move at this juncture will derail the education sector that is already hanging by a threat. Citing example of year 195, when Kashmir was at the top of the education sector on various parameters across the country and today we are at the tail end.
“All this happened due to wrong policies implemented by successive regimes without consulting experts or the stakeholders,” he added.
The JKEC appealed LG administration to stop framing such policies and work towards betterment of the education sector in coordination with all stakeholders.