Outsmarting all other competitors, cow was hailed as `personality of the year 2015′ by Yahoo. Why not? In a country of over billion people, no soul is as sacred as cow. Mohammad Ikhlaq's human element is far lower than the bovine godliness. That is why he was lynched.
But in our valley cow hogged the headlines for some other reasons. Here it evoked awe and shock when an ReT teacher stumbled on it in a court room. He was asked to write a few lines, nay words on The Cow. Any words, two eyes, two ears, two horns, anything. Alas! He didn't. Imagine a teacher with such a competence supposed to teach primary and secondary students. What justice he may do to the students. He will wreck our generation.
The only point ReTs project to shield their testophobia syndrome is that it is humiliation on their part if they are subjected to appear for the test. They believe it would be injustice on their part because they have made a significant contribution in elevating literacy rate. They have reached far flung and remote areas to impart education. Yes, that is true and is beyond shade of doubt. But the question that lurks in everybody's mind is, what kind of education they impart? Are they capable of providing the quality education to the students? Are they worth transforming the deteriorating condition of the educational sector? Are they reliable? Well, The Cow and Lofty Tree episodes reveal different story.
Well, if facing examination is humiliation for ReTs then what is their say about those ReTs who are like the one who faltered in writing simple lines about "The Cow"? Isn't it humiliation for that ReT (and like him) not being competent enough to pen-down a few lines about "The Cow"? Isn't is humiliation for that ReT (and like him) not being able to solve the basic mathematical equation? The only thing that one can understand from their anger, frustration, haplessness and protest is that they are not able to understand the concept of humiliation. Or, even if they do, they use that to shield their testophobia syndrome, which unfortunately has already come to public gaze .
The step government has taken in making ReT write exam is bold and timely. We all should appreciate it. It is to weed out the rot and encourage the talent. In fact ReT brethren should have voluntarily offered themselves for the exam as it serves a golden chance for them to prove their mettle. It is a step that provides opportunity for ReTs to remove confusions about them. A step that allows the ReTs to regain their image that is now tainted and painted with distrust following "The Cow" episode. A step that allow the ReTs to regain their lost pride.
As nicely put by Nelson Mandela, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Let there be no compromise on education. Let the government come hard on those teachers who are not worth their profession. Let the government don't politicize the educational sector for their mere interests (i.e. vote bank). Let Mufti-led government do what Bihar government did with teachers in 2014 (Over 2500 Bihar teachers twice fail exam test, to be axed, Jan,17 ,2014, Times of India). ReTs having secured degrees from distance mode should be directed to sit in exam, the exam should be held for all regularized and non-regularized. That will prove the first step towards overhauling educational system.
With syllabus and exam pattern revealed by government, one doesn't expect the termination of the test, at least at this crucial juncture of the time. If exams are held, I am sure cows won't like that because there won't be much buzz about them in Kashmir! Let us hope, "The Cow" doesn't trend anymore or at least doesn't bag personality of the year award anymore!!