The Minister for Education Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday said that to compensate the loss of time of students of schools and colleges due to frequent disruptions, his Ministry is seriously considering notifying a separate ‘Education Calendar’ that minimizes holidays and enables the teachers to complete their syllabi well in time. He sought the support of the people in safeguarding the education sector from frequent disruptions and called for exempting teachers from all non-academic duties in the larger interest of the student community.
“We cannot afford to make our students suffer for this, teachers have to be discharged from all non-teaching assignments, including election-related duties,” he said.
He said present Government has already demonstrated its commitment towards working in tandem with Legislators, cutting across the political divide, by requesting them to identify schools, in order of their preference, in their respective constituencies which qualify for such up-gradation.
The Minister said the state cannot lose focus unless remedial measures are taken, education can become the first casualty of any conflict situation. “It was not easy to bring back the students from the streets to the classrooms where they actually belong. Despite extreme provocation, I take great pride in stating that not a single FIR was registered against the protesting students’ last year,” he said. “This House should know that our students, especially adolescents, are passing through difficult times and require our handholding,” he said and called for involving them in decision-making processes.
For this, he suggested for forming ‘Student Councils’ which shall monitor the affairs of schools and colleges. He said the government will welcome vibrant collective participation in the spirit of the democratic setup where all people have the right to voice their concerns in a peaceful manner.
Terming education as cog-in-the-wheel of progress at all levels, Minister for Education Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesady said despite many odds and varied challenges the government succeeded to putting decrepit education system back on track and the recent board results in Kashmir offer a silver lining amid the dark clouds.
Winding up the discussion on Demand for Grants of the Education and allied Departments under his charge and responding to the points raised by the legislators, the Minister stressed on engaging in a constructive dialogue on improving the contours of the education sector, and emphasised that ‘it requires all of us to rise above political affiliations and considerations.’
He welcomed the suggestions of the Legislators and assured them that the same would be incorporated to streamline the functioning of the Department.