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Remembering Professor A.G. Madhosh –A Humanistic Educationist

In his passing, we are reminded of the power of education to transform lives and the responsibility we share in continuing his legacy.
12:55 AM Feb 26, 2024 IST | SHOWKAT RASHID WANI
remembering professor a g  madhosh –a humanistic educationist
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My first interaction with Prof A. G Madhosh was at his residence in Sanat Nagar 23 years back when as an MEd aspirant I dropped in at his residence to guide me how to prepare for the entrance test. He allowed me in with a warm smile and seated me in his study room. His wife offered me tea. He suggested me to read a book “Mixed Treasure” authored by Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Mattoo. I made a serious preparation and topped MEd Entrance test in 2001. He served as Dean and Head of the Department of Education for a long period and contributed significantly for placing Education department on the growth trajectory. As Dean his chamber was open to students without any restriction. Prof Madhosh is regarded as the champion of humanistic psychology and devoted much of his efforts toward applying the results of his psychological research to person-centered teaching where empathy, caring about students, and genuineness on the part of the learning facilitator were found to be the key traits of his pedagogical discourse. I remember he was very influenced by the educational philosophy of Dr. Zakir Hussain, he had etched the anthem of Aligarh Muslim University in his mind and soul and placed it in high reverence. His lifelong colleague Professor G M Malik has preserved a video in which Prof Madhosh is seen reciting AMU anthem in front of school students.

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Despite holding several administrative positions Madhosh Sir never skipped the classes he was punctual in the class at 10.00 a.m. The students were eager to take his psychology classes. Being a student of MEd I skipped my morning class and instead took class with MA Education students as Prof Madhosh taught them psychology.  I remember some of the students used to bring tape recorders to record the lectures of Madhosh sir. He made extensive use of black board while teaching, once he made a beautiful 3 dimensional cubical representation of Guilford Structure of Intellect on the blackboard it was more beautiful and appealing than the present power point presentations. I remember one of the students Riyaz from Baramulla arranged a camera to get a click of that 3 dimensional model drawn by Prof Madhosh on the blackboard. The students of MEd struggled to comprehend Clark Hull drive reduction theory and Kurt Lewin Field theory. Prof Madhosh explained the mathematical base of Hull theory with such brilliance that we could easily comprehend the most difficult theory.

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Once Prof Madhosh was teaching in a class an official from the Vice Chancellor office dropped in the Education department with the message that Vice Chancellor has desired to meet him immediately in his secretariat. Prof Madhosh send a reply back that he will meet after finishing the class. After Sir finished the class he was surprised to see Vice Chancellor Prof M Y Qadiri waiting for him in his Dean chamber. During my MEd programme Prof Madhosh was appointed as a state coordinator for a UNICEF based project titled “Children affected in the armed conflict in the State”. He appointed me as one of the field investigators to collect data from district Budgam. These field experiences inculcated an aptitude for research in PG students. Prof Madhosh conducted a series of workshops and provided us hands on experience how to prepare standardized research tools in the contextual perspective. His lectures in psychology were so illuminating and exhaustive that students did not need any supplementary material to prepare notes. He taught us from the depth of his heart, every word is etched deep in our minds. The examples he gave while explaining concepts were drawn from the real life experiences which forced us to think and ponder. On Saturdays Madhosh sir organized departmental seminars for the benefit of the students, I remember eminent educationists like Prof Kundu. Prof Lidhoo, Prof Isaac Khan delivering lectures. The seminar room was a vibrant platform for cross fertilization of ideas between scholars and students. The departmental library of the Education department houses hundreds of MEd dissertations during the period of 1965 till date. Significant number of these dissertations have been conducted under the supervision of Prof Madhosh. Even if we go through the preface of these dissertations we see the name of Madhosh sir reflected in golden letters as an acknowledgment for rendering valuable help to the budding scholars. If on sample basis you take one of the MEd dissertations prepared during sixties and seventies you will see the quantum of the quality work done by these serious scholars. The patience displayed by the teachers and scholars during that era in preparing the dissertation and collecting authentic extensive data without compromising on research ethics is really a roadmap for the current scholars. I located the rough draft of one of the dissertations commented by Prof Madhosh as a supervisor, it reflected from those detailed comments and corrections that he had fully reflected and comprehended on the work submitted by the scholar. Sir has written a book “Guidance and Counselling” in Urdu which stands published by National Council for the promotion of Urdu Language(NCPUL). His scholarly works, including the acclaimed book 'Nafsiyat' in Kashmiri, and his role in translating numerous books from English to Kashmiri, underscored his commitment to making education accessible and relevant.

Over his illustrious career, he guided more than 50 M Phil and PhD scholars, leaving an indelible mark on the academic community. Prof Madhosh is the founding chief editor of the research journal “INSIGHT” published by Department of Education. He was the first contributor to the first volume of this journal and published a paper titled “Construction of Socio-Economic Scale (SES) for Kashmir” This paper was published with the strong justification that the SES scales constructed elsewhere do not exactly mirror the Socio-Economic Status in our state. Later many scales were adapted by the education department from contextual perspective, the prominent name that figures in this direction is the promising student of Prof Madhosh, his name is Prof Mahmood Ahmad Khan who has adapted many scales in Urdu as per the norms of local population. I remember in a two-day National Seminar on Education Reforms and Innovations: a step to change organized by Department of Education Prof Madhosh said, “The onus of rectifying a student’s vulnerabilities lies on the effectiveness of the transference of knowledge, on which our teachers and institutions should collectively work”.

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Once while leaving the Sir Syed Gate Prof Madhosh recognized an elderly man carrying a walking stick. He stopped the car and met him with a warm smile. He was Brij Nath who had served Department of Education during 1960 and 1970’s. He had retired from the services long back and had migrated to Jammu. As a steno he had played instrumental role in typing the dissertation of students on Remington typewriter, one of the important assets of Education department of bygone days. He had come to the University to collect the migration certificate of his grand-daughter. He had been waiting at the counter/window for hours to get his case processed. None from the younger crop recognized the elderly man who had been part and parcel of the University system for decades. The elderly man was shivering with cold and was residing in the local hotel at Khayyam Chowk. He was the original resident of Ban-Mohalla Fatheh Kadal before migration. There was no proper heating arrangement in the hotel, Prof Madhosh took him to his own residence and served him like his own family member. Next day he deputed one of his employees to collect the migration certificate of Brij Nath's grand-daughter.

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Humility was deeply embedded in the DNA of Madhosh sir. There was a delinquent who had been caught cheating in the examination. He had misbehaved with the supervisory staff. All were of the opinion that he should be struck off from the rolls. An enquiry committee was constituted by the then Vice Chancellor to look into the matter. The ailing mother dropped into the office of Madhosh Sir. She begged for saving the career of his only son. I am witness to this episode; Prof Madhosh seated the lady comfortably, offered her tea and gave her an opportunity of being heard. His active empathetic listening skills gave a solace to this struggling lady. Prof Madhosh conducted series of counselling sessions with the boy and recommended to the Vice Chancellor to take a lenient view keeping in view the career mobility of the boy. He made that boy class representative. The boy worked hard and completed his PhD in the subject of Education and proved a great support to his ailing mother.

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Our former Director in Distance Education Prof Neelofar Khan on 9th June 2012 organized an Extension lecture in the auditorium of SP College, the expert was Prof A. G Madhosh, he was given such a warm welcome by distance learners that his eyes got moistened. Addressing the students Prof Madhosh said “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”

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Dr Showkat Rashid Wani, Senior Coordinator, Directorate of Distance Education, University of Kashmir

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