Tag Archives: Education

No Exams After Winter Break

UntThere have been some reports that J&K government is thinking of shifting the examination session of primary to secondary classes from November to March and final decision on this may be taken in coming weeks. We don’t know where the idea came from but government should not hasten in making the decision as it is not well thought out. Almost every college in the United States has exams before winter break. There may be many colleges in India where admissions start in June-July time frame but that does not mean we should mess our academic calendar based on that. In fact, that that may be once in a life time opportunity for pupils to prepare themselves better to get into their dream college. There are many things to consider in this regard and we cannot shift the exams on a mere single data point.

Too much work and strain on the brain is not good for the pupils, leisure activities are important part of our lives as well and break also helps them to be more psychologically ready for another academic year that is the reason we have vacations. Exams just after the winter break do not make any sense as long break creates an intellectual and mental lapse, which affects student scores and makes them feel guilty for not studying enough.

Little ones tend to get excited for the winter break, it is the time when extended families get together. Kids go to their grandparent’s house, cousins get together, many go outside the state to break the routine and avoid the harsh weather, which even lingers the break. If we schedule the exams after the winter break we will not be allowing them to enjoy holidays. It means pupils will have to worry about exam during the break, for most pupils that would mean studying full time hours. As schools will be closed for winter break and pupils need more academic help during exam time, it will further increase the menace of private coaching. Making pupils anxious during holidays and keep them thinking about looming exams will not be a good strategy.

According to the office of the Secretary-General of the European schools, the school year must consist of 180 working days. Although we have winter and summer breaks but the calendar is not fixed and dates are always released by the government at the eleventh hour. This makes planning difficult for both students and their parents. We should have a fixed academic calendar that includes the winter break from 1st week of December to 1st week of March and summer break for the month of July. Unless something drastic happens, this should never change. We make government to make things better and easier for us and not the vice versa.


Union Budget and Development in Kashmir

In the union budget 2014, although Jammu division has got one IIT but Kashmir division has been completely neglected. It has got nothing except some grants to develop sports infrastructure. Although many people have demanded IIM in Kashmir division but that doesn’t seem to be what Kashmiris needs most because that is again going to displace Kashmiris and force them to work outside Kashmir. There are five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) in India, which focus on science education and research in basic science. If an IISER is established in Kashmir, it will not only provide higher education but also some high-end job opportunities in the valley. There are already lot of people who study science here but don’t get opportunity to excel in the same. The government of Jammu and Kashmir also needs to setup a premier institute in state that will provide quality IT education on the lines of International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad. Again it will not only provide world class training to engineers but also create lakhs of job opportunities in the state. Of course, we will also have to develop both physical and digital infrastructure, high speed and reliable WiFi has to be a priority. Medical sector has to be a priority as well, like other states if AIIMS is established in the Jammu and Kashmir, it will help in promoting medical tourism here, which has lot of potential.

RoadInGeorgeThere have been lots of funds allocated for transportation, waterways are going to be revived and couple of states have also got metros. Although Srinagar and Jammu may not need a metro but it definitely needs better roads. There is traffic congestion, roads are narrow and even if we have to drive few kilometers in the city it is a nightmare. There is some road widening going on and few fly over have been proposed but the speed of development is very depressing. The vision of a wide road that goes via historical Jamia Masjid and Dast-i-geer Sahib was laid out by the previous generation. Even after one generation has passed the widening of this one kilometer stretch is still not complete. Decades have passed when the work on the Soura-Nagbal (90 feet) road had been initiated and even today neither there is street lighting nor any beautification has been done on this road. There are some state governments, which are planning for 245 feet roads with bicycle tracks, separate lanes for public, private transport, etc. but we are still not able to finish the projects that have been started many years back.

There is a lot of work for us to do and we have very little time left otherwise our generation will also not be able to see a developed Kashmir.