Education Minister Naeem Akhtar Monday said the schools in J&K are undergoing a silent transformation which will take time to bear fruit. Mr Akhtar said, “A fraud was being played in the name of education but our government, under the vision of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has sown the seeds of change, which will bear fruit in coming years”. Likening education sector to “unclaimed baggage” at airports, Mr Akhtar said: “No one cared for it. No one claimed it. People were willing to change but the system was crippled. We have got an historic opportunity to explore the true potential of our people who have been victimized by senseless violence over the last two decades.” The Minister was speaking at inauguration ceremony of Model School Scheme at Sri Pratap Higher Secondary School here which was presided over by the Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Stressing staff of the school to adopt creative methods of teaching, Mr Akhtar said the State government is open to positive changes for transforming the education sector. “We have kept doors open for everyone to join hands with us and become part of the change in education sector. Unlike previous governments, we have stopped meaningless transfers of officials which had become an industry in itself,” he said. Laying out a vision for transformation, the Minister said the education sector needs a multi-pronged strategy to sort out the mess in it. “There are multiple problems; in academics, with staff, curriculum and infrastructure. But we are setting the standards right. The model of Smart Classrooms adopted by our department has been recommended for schools across the country,” Mr Akhtar said. Highlighting challenges before the government, the Minister said a helpline set up by the education department got over 2500 messages from aggrieved people complaining about problems in schools. “We have a massive challenge ahead of us and under the leadership of Mufti sahib, I am sure we will cross every hurdle, and will be able to bring a positive change in the education sector,” he said. Earlier, Principal, SP Higher Secondary School, Riyaz Ahmad Siddiqui, welcomed the gathering by recalling the contribution of SP School in spreading education across the State. Different groups of students staged song and qawwali performances at the event which was also attended by Minister for Public Works, Floriculture and Gardens & Parks, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Minister of State for Social Welfare, Asiea Naqash, Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Power Development and Housing & Urban Development, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Commissioner Secretary (Education), Shaleen Kabra and others.
2015 Kashmir Despatch