Jammu, March 28, (Scoop News)-Highlighting the importance of Jammu and Kashmir as a seat of learning, state’s education minister, Naeem Akhtar, Saturday said that state had historically been the source of knowledge and enlightenment in whole of the South Asia and the coalition government was committed to revamp the educational scenario to create a knowledge based society in the state.
“The first ever Buddhist conference was held in Kashmir in the 4th century and Kashmir used to be known as Shardapeeth (seat of learning),” Naeem said while interacting with media persons in the winter capital of the north Himalayan state.Minister of State for Education, Information, and Culture Priya Sethi was also present in press conference.
Mr Naeem said even up to the contemporary times, the iconic personalities like Krishna Joo Razdan, Shiv Kumar Sharma, K.L. Sehgal and Mallika Pukhraj were born here.
“Not long ago, Lal Ded and Sheikh Nooruddin Wali were born here,” the minister said. “Sheikh Nooruddin set up the first girls’ school in Kashmir during the times when girl literacy was unheard of in South Asia.”
Agitated over the drop in the literacy rank, he assured and vowed to achieve 100 percent literacy rate according to the new government’s vision document.
“The literacy rate in the state as on date has dropped to 6th rank in the country,” Naeem said adding “the present education in Jammu and Kashmir is either focused on employment or creation of infrastructure and the least spoken about in the present educational system of the state is the child”.
He said there are at present 24,265 schools with 16.68 lakh students and 1.43 lakh teaching staff, this notwithstanding the shocking revelation by him in state legislature a few days ag that 124 schools had zero percent students.
The most difficult problem for the department has been the postings and transfers of the teachers, Naeem added.
“This means in physical terms the state education department is half of the entire state government. And yet, the pass-out percentage of government schools is 50% which is 25% less than that of private schools.
In the Jammu province during the last five years, just four students have figured in the top 20 in the 10th class exams,”Naeem lamented.