A lively and powerful education system is the cornerstone of a civilized society and a progressive nation. In view of the crucial importance of the higher education sector for the overall development of the country, we find it very important to highlight the most essential lacunas that are hitting the same in our state especially valley of Kashmir , which need immediate attention in our effort to improve the status and quality of higher education and to ensure that the steps taken are the right ones.
First and foremost, the quality infrastructure is missing in higher education sector of Kashmir . Recently, officials in the Higher Education Department stated that around 41 colleges were sanctioned during the past eight years under various centrally sponsored schemes and state plan, however the construction work is yet to be completed on 23 Government Degree Colleges (GDCs) in the state.
Pertinently, the officials said the government has started different under graduate courses in all these colleges however the students are taking their classes in make-shift arrangements in adjacently located government Higher Secondary Schools (HSS) or rented accommodations, thus making ridicule of higher educational standards.
Lack of quality research and laboratories are also direly impacting the picture of higher education system in our part of the world. We also do not have the compact libraries as well in many higher education institutes .
Vocational Education system which is the crucial aspect of Higher Education is missing . In this regard, the lack of quality vocational courses in the premier educational institutions of the Kashmir Valley is adding to the unemployment problem of Kashmir. Even the top level colleges of Kashmir lack proper vocational courses. The infrastructure related to vocational courses in the higher educational institutes of valley is also unimpressive and craves for uplifting.
Mehvish Khan, assistant editor Only Kashmir stated – ” The higher education system in Kashmir is in dire straits as it lags desired quality. We do not have vibrant higher education infrastructure in place as a result we are suffering immensely. The quality chain of arts and crafts, engineering , medical colleges is absent in the state especially in the valley of Kashmir. Even the present Government run degree colleges do not have the quality infrastructure that we could Bank upon .The need of the hour is to upgrade the basic infrastructure of higher education and revamp our entire higher Education system.”
Mehvish Khan adds – ” We need a concrete policy and vision to move ahead in the right direction with reference to higher education so as to achieve the desired success .
Ground realities suggest that Higher Education Sector in Kashmir is in dire need of reforms as it currently presents bleak outlook.