By Danish Mushtaq
Out of all the systems that make our world a great place to live, education system is most important. We become a part of it when we take birth and remain so as long as we exist. It affects us more than the political and economic systems.
This is so because it facilitates us with the lens with which we analyze other systems and in fact helps to make them better. However there is cyclic dependence between systems. Therefore a bad political or economic system cannot host a good education system.
Kashmir valley is home to a lot of renowned personalities who have one way or the other contributed notably to the world. The contributions haven’t however been in the direction of solving the economic problem that we are in currently. By economic problem I mean unemployment.
While the world finds jobs in new sectors emerging mainly from the information technology, we are busy doing something else. We have missed the IT revolution, and are suffering the consequences. And the consequences aren’t just related to the economy, other sectors have been hit as well.
Now while everything at our place is not going good, we cannot just sit back and relax and wait for the Messiah to come and guide us. We have to do something ourselves. We have to think of a plan that addresses the issue. The issue is not simple, I understand, but then no issue is simple. And most of the problems have solutions, I believe that our problem can be solved as well.
I envision a system of education, which runs parallel to the existing one.
For this to happen, the curriculum of these schools has to be crafted very intelligently. For the sake of learning, just any subject is good, but for solving a problem, there has to be a very skillful and trained human resource that can only be developed by rigorous training.
I consider three and only three subjects to be taught in these schools—computer science, mathematics and economics.
The computer science is trending, equips us with the techniques to develop software, websites, apps, or use tools to data entry, data analysis, write content, do consulting for other firms and the list goes on.
The mathematics provides the strong foothold for the computer programming. The economics helps understand how businesses work, on a large scale as well as on a small scale. This should be the complete package.
I understand that it is very difficult to start a new system altogether. But then, nothing is easy. Let us get ready. Let us help ourselves develop. Let us learn from China if not from Korea or from Taiwan.
Until there is a new, full-fledged system that works, why not enhance the current system. Why not introduce the students at high school level to the Internet as a tool to create something of value, be it through new subjects introduced in the curriculum or through organized seminars or coding competitions. Let us understand that The Internet is not just Facebook or WhatsApp.
Let us not just waste time maintaining the false image we create for ourselves.
The students could be exposed to the entrepreneurs in India or abroad via online communities. I am sure this would light the candle inside them. The best thing is that the needs are little, an Internet connection, a power supply and a laptop, and there you go, facilitated enough to create a world changing app.
Also there are a lot of levels at which one can work, depending on the skill and the time one can afford to spend. Let us get ready. Let us get involved and let us fulfill the dreams of the shaheens inside all of us.
(The author is NIT Srinagar graduate and is presently working as technology analyst at US-based Consulting firm, New Delhi)