by Javaid Jawad

Education is a sacred responsibility. It requires a special dedication and innate enthusiasm from our educators.

It is disgusting that the educational landscape in Jammu and Kashmir has undergone such a drastic transformation. The days of passionate and enthusiastic educators leading from the front are gone. The emergence of new challenges in the classroom demands that we rejuvenate the enthusiasm within our teachers.

Gone are the days when headmasters, Zonal Education Officers, principals and DIET principals were not just administrative figures, but true inspirational leaders. They would personally dedicate their time to teaching and interacting with students, igniting a genuine enthusiasm for learning. Gone are the days when DIET faculties were known for their innovative strategies to confront emerging challenges head-on. Their commitment to excellence and their unwavering dedication to their craft set them apart. They were the educators par excellence, constantly working out new ways to improve and impact their “students” – the teachers.

However, it is disheartening that a circular had to be issued, “forcing” headmasters, lecturers, and principals to teach a minimum of two classes at different levels. One would hope that the directive would provide a stimulus to our school teachers and administrators to follow their illustrious ancestors to leave behind remarkable legacies now. One could hope the “directive” will ignite the flames of curiosity among our esteemed educators. The change is within our grasp.

As we stand at the precipice of a new era, it is up to us to follow the legacy of our great ancestors to transfer the rich legacy to our successors. It seems that some of our individual teachers and administrators have lost sight of the noble purpose of their profession. This unfortunate trend needs to be arrested as soon as possible.

Nonetheless, it is encouraging that institutions have taken steps to ensure compliance by sharing timetables on designated web portals. Such measures are necessary to ensure that the order is followed both in letter and in spirit. Our students deserve nothing less than a committed and passionate teaching community. There are reports that some of the institutions have come up with the timetables following the official directive but a good number of “educators” are reluctant to follow the same on this or that pretext.

We must strive for a return to the roots of education, where not the heads of the institutions but leaders actively engage with students, mentor teachers and create an environment that nurtures curiosity, critical thinking and creativity. By stoking a fire of enthusiasm and passion for learning among the young teachers, lecturers and other stakeholders thereby transforming the spark to the students, fostering a vibrant educational community that thrives on mutual and collective growth and development.

Celebrating and emulating the ancestors, the leaders of the past, we can inspire a new generation of educators who will not be just administrators but mentors and guides to our youth. Let schools, higher secondary and colleges promote and prioritise the initiatives that lead to the holistic development of students, nurturing their minds, bodies and souls. Together we can rekindle the flame of passion and enthusiasm within our educational institutions creating a brighter future for generations to come.

Education is a sacred responsibility. It requires a special dedication and innate enthusiasm from our educators. Let us hope that this reminder and rejuvenation will spark a renewed sense of dedication within the teaching community. Together, we can create a brighter and more inspiring educational future for all.

In my journey through education, I had the privilege to learn from remarkable individuals who left a lasting impact on my life. At High School Bagh in Bandipora, I was fortunate to have Late Ghulam Nabi Hakeem as our headmaster, who also taught us mathematics in tenth class 10. His passion for teaching and his dedication to his students were truly inspiring.

Microscope donation at Government Middle School Onagam, Bandipore (Author (right) receiving the donation)

At Nadim Memorial, we were blessed with the guidance of Principal Late Ghulam Mohiuddin Ganie, who not only led the school but also taught classes from the ninth to the twelfth class. His multifaceted approach to education enriched our learning experience. Finally, at High School Mantrigam in Bandipora, I had the opportunity to work under the capable leadership of Headmaster Inamur Rehman Fazili. His expertise in teaching English grammar to all three sections of the tenth class had a profound impact on my own teaching journey. I am grateful for the invaluable lessons and mentorship I received from these exceptional educators.

(The author heads the Government Middle School Onagam (Bandipora). Ideas are personal.) 


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