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Transforming Kashmir’s Education System

The road to academic resilience in Kashmir starts with acknowledging the challenges. However, the collective action and a comprehensive approach can lead to positive change

By Aubaid Ahmad Akhoon

Inspired by Friedrich von Schiller’s profound wisdom, which highlights the dichotomy between sharing success and enduring failure, we are prompted to delve into the formidable challenges confronting students in Kashmir. These challenges have been cast in stark relief by the recently unveiled results of the 11th-grade examinations, which paint a disquieting portrait of declining academic performance. This alarming trend beckons a unified response, one that recognizes the multifaceted roles played by the various stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.Transforming Kashmir’s Education System

Acknowledging the presence of inherent flaws within the educational system is an essential starting point. However, the temptation to apportion the entirety of blame onto educators alone must be resisted, for it oversimplifies the intricate web of issues at hand. In our quest to rectify this situation effectively, we must embrace a comprehensive outlook that takes into account the myriad factors influencing students’ scholastic achievements. Cultivating collaboration and shared accountability among parents, teachers, policymakers, and the students themselves is the beacon guiding us toward transformative change in Kashmir’s educational landscape.

Parental Involvement: Parents wield a pivotal influence in shaping their children’s educational journey. Active parental engagement is indispensable for academic triumph. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon us to recognize the hurdles confronting parents, including limited access to educational resources, socio-economic constraints, and a dearth of knowledge regarding effective parenting techniques. To bridge this divide, educational institutions must endeavor to establish robust partnerships with parents. Regular parent-teacher meetings, parenting workshops, and the provision of resources for parental support can empower parents to become active participants in their child’s education, thereby nurturing a conducive learning environment within the home.

Teacher Accountability: Teachers play an irreplaceable role in molding students’ academic destinies. While it is undeniable that teachers are entrusted with the sacred duty of knowledge dissemination, we must be mindful of the complex milieu in which they operate. Overcrowded classrooms, resource limitations, and inadequate professional development opportunities can stymie their effectiveness. To ensure teacher accountability, policymakers must invest in comprehensive teacher training programs, furnish necessary resources, and establish mechanisms for continuous evaluation and support. By addressing these systemic concerns, we empower educators to deliver high-quality education and assume responsibility for their students’ triumphs.

Transforming Kashmir's Education System

Reimagining Pedagogy: Conventional teaching methods and assessment practices do not always align with the diverse learning needs of students. Educational institutions must embrace innovative pedagogical approaches that foster critical thinking, creativity, and active student participation. This necessitates the incorporation of interactive teaching methods, project-based learning, and seamless integration of technology in the classroom. By nurturing a student-centric learning milieu, educators can kindle a sense of ownership in students, thus paving the way for improved academic performance.

Leveraging Technology: In the digital age, technology offers an expansive canvas for enriching the learning experience. Online platforms, educational apps, and digital resources are the gateway to an extensive trove of educational materials. The ubiquity of mobile technology presents both opportunities and challenges for academic performance. While mobile devices can serve as potent learning tools, they can also prove distracting and detrimental to focused study. Promoting responsible mobile device use, implementing dedicated study hours, harnessing educational apps, and establishing clear usage guidelines can help students harness the benefits of mobile technology while mitigating potential distractions.

However, it is imperative to ensure equitable access to technology and address the digital divide that may persist in certain areas. Through the provision of reliable internet connectivity, investment in infrastructure, and facilitation of teacher training in effective technology integration, educational institutions can unlock the full potential of digital tools to bolster student learning and academic success.

The Impact of Session Change: Within the examination of factors contributing to the poor academic performance of 11th-grade students in Kashmir, a salient aspect that demands our attention is the recent shift in the academic session. Traditionally, examinations in Kashmir took place in November-December, but this year, the government opted to move the session to March. This alteration, coupled with a proclivity among students to underestimate the significance of the 11th grade, has posed distinctive challenges to academic excellence.

The shift in the academic session timetable from November-December to March has disrupted the established cadence of study and examination schedules in Kashmir. Students accustomed to the previous session now confront an extended period of preparation and revised timelines. This transformation has the potential to impact their study routines, motivation levels, and overall academic performance. Therefore, it is incumbent upon educators, parents, and students to adapt to this new session structure and formulate effective strategies to mitigate its repercussions on learning outcomes. Through collective recognition and remediation of these factors, we can strive to create a more conducive environment that fosters improved performance among Kashmiri students.

Taking 11th Class Lightly: In addition to the session change, another contributory factor to poor performance is the penchant among some students to underestimate the significance of the 11th grade. Often viewed as a preliminary year before the pivotal 12th grade, students may perceive the 11th grade as a period of relaxation or experimentation. This lack of seriousness and commitment can engender complacency, diminished effort, and ultimately, subpar academic results. It is imperative to instill in students the understanding that the 11th grade serves as the bedrock for their future academic endeavors and warrants their unwavering attention and dedication.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of this newspaper. The author can be reached at [email protected]

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