Nelson Mandela said," Education is most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world". The destinies of nations are shaped in classrooms. Educational institutions are laboratories of knowledge and intellectual innovations. The role of higher education in the process of nation building is of utmost importance. The higher education system in J&K suffers from severe flaws. There are several Universities in J&K which serve as higher seats of learning. Also there are large number of Government degree colleges in our state, but are these higher educational institutions catering to our needs and aspirations? Although the present dispensation has also announced opening of new degree colleges through widely publicized ribbon cuttings, but higher education is battling for its survival in our state.
These so called colleges are facing acute shortage of infrastructure and faculty. They are largely dependent on contractual lecturers, who are being exploited. They are hired for full academic session and are subjected to worst kind of discrimination. And these contractual lecturers are not experienced and competent enough. So the need of the hour is to reshape our priorities and to overhaul our whole educational system. We have to equip these higher seats of learning with modern and better infrastructure. Those subject streams need to be incorporated which will nurture the hidden talent of students. That will benefit them in job market. The focus should be on skill development. Memorandum of understanding should be signed with other reputed institutions of higher learning. Guidance and counseling centres should be established in our higher educational institutions. Proper counselors should be appointed.
On the other hand political forces should also stay away from politicization of education. Sometimes they interfere in this crucial sector by taking decisions which have political undertones. Politics should not be allowed to become a hindrance. Let us hope that state Government will wake up and will divert its resources towards upgrading the infrastructural needs of Educational Sector.
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