Letter to Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor

It is about the inordinate delay in admissions for first semester in Winter Zone Colleges of J&K
Representational Image
Representational ImageWikimedia Commons/ Petar Milošević

Hon’ble Sir,

This is submitted for favour of your kind consideration that:

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was adopted in July 2020.

Subsequently, the process of implementation was started by different states, Union Territories and Universities in the country. Accordingly, various models were designed and developed for its implementation.

The Union Territory of J&K also decided to implement NEP 2020 in its colleges from the current academic session. Accordingly, the Higher Education Department (HED) of J&K also constituted different Task Forces for implementation of this policy.

These Task Forces submitted their recommendations to HED. These recommendations were deliberated upon in different meetings chaired by the worthy Education Advisor to the Hon’ble LG and Principal Secretary HED.

It is heartening to submit that civil society / senior citizens have also shown keen interest in understanding and analysis of this policy. They have been contributing their valuable opinion; besides, senior academics and media fraternity in national / regional level esteemed dailies.

They attempted to design different models based on certain contours envisaged in the policy. They participated in different workshops/ seminars in different colleges to create an understanding of this policy for faculty and students. They also suggested creating conducive ecosystem for the implementation of the policy hassle free.

The year 2022 is declared as the year of academic transformation offering a thrilling experience to the students waiting for admissions to the first semester of degree programme in the colleges.

Meanwhile the JK BOSE declared result for 12th class examination for winter zone schools on 9th of February, 2022. Accordingly, admission process for the first semester should have been started in the colleges. The regular class work should also have been started by now to provide an opportunity to students joining the colleges post pandemic period.

The delay in admission process will not only adversely impact academic career of students desirous of pursuing higher education after completing schooling but also impact their mental health and this could be very harmful and dangerous to our social ethos which is already under huge strain.

This transit from school to college is very essential period in the academic career of a student. It is because of different pedagogy, high calibre course content, learning outcomes, evaluation mechanism, participation in co-scholastic events and so on as the students are exposed to different ecosystem at college level. When admission is delayed for no fault of theirs, it will have a negative impact on their personality as well.

The process of admission should have been started well in time by the colleges. The semester system has a definite period for transaction of course content under NEP 2020. More focus is now on earning of academic credits. The curriculum is divided into credits involving number of clock hours per credit. So every working day has significance. Institutions cannot afford lapse of time for one reason or the other.

A team of former college principals requests for favour of your kind intervention with regard to start of admission process without further delay and providing faculty (regular/contractual) to the colleges for subjects facing deficiency in order to start classwork.

Furthermore, the recruitment process for regular faculty should be done after short intervals of one or two years rather than waiting for decades to appoint faculty on a mass scale.

Otherwise, they will retire almost in the same year causing vacuum in so many subjects. The temporary arrangements are made by engaging contractual/ guest teachers who lose their interest in the profession while continuing without proper regular recruitment and professional development after long periods.

In light of the above facts, we are hopeful that considering the urgency of the matter, your Excellency will take personal interest in the matter and direct the concerned authorities to take steps so that the admissions in the colleges are started as early as possible on priority basis and also steps are taken to arrange the qualified faculty on contractual/regular basis for all the colleges of the Union Territory.

Yours faithfully,

Prof Mohammad Ismail, (profmismail47@gmail.com), (North Kashmir),

Dr Meem Hai Zaffar (meemhaizaffar@yahoo.co.in), (Central Kashmir),

Dr Nazir Ahmad Gilkar, (gilkarna@redifmail.com), (Central Kashmir),

Prof Showkat Ajaz Keen, (shoukatkeen@gmail.com ), (South Kashmir).

Post Script

The UGC published Draft Regulations for Curriculum Framework for FY UGP and Credits on 17-03- 2022. This draft Regulation was placed in public domain and open for debate/discussion/suggestions until 04-04-2022. This draft Regulation as per print media reports (The Hindu: April 04, 2022) was word for word true copy of University of Michigan and University of Arizona amounting to plagiarisation.

The issuance of final Regulations may take more time. It is, therefore, proposed that the students of winter zone colleges may be admitted for the first semester enabling them to engage themselves in skill development capsule programmes for at least three months as early as possible.

This engagement of students on the campus will keep them aware of the ecosystem of higher education. They will participate in activities like lab work, computer applications, writing skills, study habits, behaviour modification and so on.

They will utilise this intervening period in a productive manner and also earn some credits till the process for regular class work of the first semester starts. This will also protect them from stress.

In Kashmir, students utilise spring months in the education institutions after facing chilly winter season. This process may continue till the entire education system from lower to higher education is restructured.

Note: The letter was mailed on 31-03- 2022 and copy dispatched by speed post on 01-04-2022.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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