During Ghulam Mohammad Shah – the then Chief Minister’s regime I wrote an article about the causality of Education in Jammu and Kashmir State. I analysed the political conditions responsible for the deterioration of educational standards initiated with the dismissal of democratically elected government of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who was committed to the higher statues of Education to be the basis of progress and prosperity of every department of life. His dreams and visionary attitude was shattered when Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was erected as a substitute to manage the political affairs enticing and bewitching the people for the unlimited sea of concessions in order to support and assist his government. His administration concentrated and focused on a) intellectual class b) Teachers community c) Disgruntled elements d) Frustrated politicians.
Our intellectual class from lower middle class was struggling hard to get an opportunity to be inducted in upper stratus of the society. The powers that be inducted the lot into different departments as per their choice, suitability and adjustability. Teachers community was staunch supporters and faithful to the Sheikh were trying best to change its loyalty to share promotional benefits and perks; to the new political management. Teachers community was vehemently debarred from further promotional possibilities.
Education Department was infiltrated with every sort of people to the height of socio-cultural degradation to disrespect the community resulted in the last nail into the coffins of dreams and vision of the Sheikh. Disillusioned and disgruntled elements generally accepted concessions offered from the emerging establishment; to be the shareholder of political power structure of the State pushing the religious leadership to the blind. Religious leadership suffered from indecisiveness left for political power across the boarder; can not translate the political power vision into the reality. This religio- political immaturity reverted the whole newly emerging political potentialities damaging the basic political fact.
This process of disrespectability was continued in Jammu and Kashmir State. The officers at the helm brought M.Ed at par with MA Education and that resulted in product of 70s mass coping. That spoilt the whole system of education.
These senior masters feeling inferior to other lot adjusted in colleges and the university cried for the nomenclature to be changed from Senior master into lecture. While appointing this M.Ed lot, one year B.Ed and one year M.Ed equalling MA Education, was not screened but catapulted in secondary schools with the `Incharge’ tag. Slowly and gradually, this lot got confirmation from the Public Service Commission routinely on the basis of seniority. Some people were very clever and prompt to utilise political influence for choosing the other departments for their safer side. The back door entry was left open for the blue eyed and politically influential people who helped the mismanagement of the State affairs. His Excellency the present governor has exposed the corrupt administration of the State where intellectual and intelligentsia has lost the genuine placement in public and private departments.
My advice to the administration is to see bungling in cultural institutions and financial embezzlement in terms of appointments made everywhere.
(Iqbal Fahim is a retired Principal)