Srinagar, Oct. 6 (IANS): As gun culture is buried in Jammu and Kashmir, dawn is breaking on book culture. The youth of the Union Territory have realized that only disillusionment and agony stand in the way of the former. They can no longer be convinced to fight a war that ends in lifelong misery.
Since the government started various educational initiatives in the valley such as free training centers for competitions and makeshift schools for the tribal and Gujjar people given their frequent migration, the youth have now developed a taste of a better life.
Education is their ticket out of the toxic environment they were subjected to growing up. This will give them a purpose in life, elevate their financial status and ultimately lead the Union Territory to prosperity. Young people seize all educational opportunities with vigor and enthusiasm.
Haziq Parveez Lone, hailing from Tenz Village of Shopian District and the son of a fruit vendor, passed the 2022 NEET-UG exam in Union Territory last month and ranked 10th in the country. . He scored 710 out of 720 points. He credits his achievement to his secondary and upper secondary teachers in Turkwamgam (Shopian) village who instilled in him the passion to study hard and live a better life in him. It is pertinent to mention that Haziq belongs to a neighborhood known for its young people joining the militant ranks not so long ago. Today, South Kashmir is emerging as a competitive district in education and entrepreneurship.
In a bid to expose young minds to the world outside J&K and inspire them to dream bigger, a five-day Bharat Darshan Tour has been launched in Srinagar. Boarding and accommodation facilities, including food and airfare, have been provided for students by the J&K administration. Famous multinationals, tourist spots, major industries and historical places were covered during the tour. Travelers have described the trip as eye-opening and life-changing. This encouraged them to study harder while keeping the larger worldview in perspective.
Earlier this year, a Gujjar daughter, Jabeena Bashir, from Shopian qualified for the NEET exam on the first attempt with 423 points. She pays tribute to her public school teachers who motivated her and guided her through all the stages of this achievement. The Indian army stationed in remote places also acted as substitute teachers for these Gujjar children who migrate with their families through the seasons due to their profession.
The Department of Tribal Affairs recently commissioned a 100-bed hostel for female students in Jammu and one is under construction in Srinagar. Many youth hostels will be built to bring students closer to education centers. Hostels will have all modern facilities and subsidized meals. Tribal students will receive scholarships and computer tablets with preloaded educational content.
The Department also sanctioned a plan to modernize 120 schools in UT’s tribal areas. In Phase 1 of the plan, 100 schools have already been upgraded at a cost of Rs 20 crore. Under a special Tribal Education Plan (TEP) budget, the department will provide students with tutoring for competitive examinations such as UPSC, medical and engineering entrance exams, and computer equipment. . Today, the Tribal Research Institute celebrates a year of accomplishments in establishing capacity building programs for tribal school teachers in coordination with the district level education department.
To provide quality education to young people in remote areas of J&K, an additional 25,000 places are provided by establishing 50-degree colleges. For the first time, UT’s higher education sector will provide quality education to the underprivileged section of society.
As part of the Aao School Chalein campaign, there has been a 14.5% increase in school enrollment in 2021-2022.
1,65,000 UT students joined various schools, 80% of whom had never been to school before. These children were placed in age-appropriate classes based on their caliber. For teacher capacity building, a student mentorship program – Student and Teacher Engagement for Strengthening Education (STEER) – has been initiated at UT. The program focuses on enhancing student performance in real time through hands-on learning.
In addition to formal school education, 70,000 school children from 714 public schools receive vocational training in 14 different types of trades. To carry out this initiative, 803 professional labs are in place, and 1122 new labs and 1352 smart classrooms are underway in the current fiscal year. To translate promises into action, 127 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and 1420 Computer-Based Learning (CAL) centers are being opened in Jammu and Kashmir.
A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed with HCL TechBee to provide professional training for graduate students. The idea is to inculcate creativity, scientific temperament and entrepreneurial and moral leadership in students, in line with National Education Policy (NEP) guidance, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said.