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School with a tinge of difference

In the 21st century, the role of school is not confined to imparting knowledge only
01:00 AM Jan 15, 2024 IST | Dr Mushtaq Rather
school with a tinge of difference
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School is a place where lives are transformed to face the challenges in real life. The school setting therefore has an everlasting role in shaping the life of school going children. In the 21st century, the role of school is not confined to imparting knowledge only, but to render the lives of modern day learners purposeful and meaningful in the society, where in they can positively contribute in mitigating and addressing the most daunting challenges  posed by 21st century :climate change, substance abuse, conflicts, cyber crimes etc.

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The school setting is an effective platform to imbibe values, integrity, creativity, collaborative approach and effective communication skills among 21st century learners. The role of schools to hone humanistic attitude and sense of togetherness is even more central and significant as 21st century is the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is believed to seriously castigate and compromise with humanistic emotions.

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Success Model of PS Lone Mohalla Aishmuqam Anantnag

The public schools in Jammu and Kashmir have unfortunately been at the receiving end and face public ire and wrath for not performing as per the expectations of the general public. The lack of accountability and administrative inefficiency previously has seriously compromised and dented the image of public run institutions.

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Besides lack of community ownership of public schools by the society has compounded the problems even further. These multitudes of factors collectively contributed in dismal performance of government run institutions previously.

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Path breaking interventions:

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Post Abrogation of Article 370, some path breaking interventions have been undertaken in the field of education to bring in degree of accountability and transparency in public run institutions. The current dispensation needs to be applauded and saluted for undertaking certain revolutionary measures in the realm of education.

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To infuse a degree of punctuality and regularity in teaching and non-teaching staff, technologically driven Smart JK Attendance App has been launched across the government run institutions of Jammu and Kashmir. The hallmark and diagnostic feature of this attendance app is real time and location enabled geographical coordinates.

One of the stand out recommendation of NEP 2020 is to empower modern day learners by treating them as integral stakeholders in the teaching –learning process. The NEP 2020 strongly advocates students as co-creaters of knowledge, rather than mere recipients of black and white information.

To actualize the objectives of the NEP 2020 in truest sense, Jammu and Kashmir dispensation has taken a lead initiative in this regard and has been the first region in the country to come up with novel idea of SMAIKSHA Portal where in students right from class 1st -12th are empowered to provide monthly feedback   about the existing facilities offered at the institutional level.

Success story

Certain  schools have performed exceedingly well and created a niche for themselves in the society. One such better performing school is PS Lone Mohalla, located in a tiny hamlet of Hangalpawa, Zone Aishmuqam Anantnag.

The school is garnering wide spread appreciation from all shades of society. Although the school is located in a rugged terrain quite far from the district head quarter, the innovative pedagogical approach adopted by the teachers of the school has transformed the institution as a model school for others to replicate the same model .Even Greater Kashmir  has carried out in detail the success story of this institution in its daily issue published on 4/12/2023.

The school currently has an enrolment of 86. The students of this institution are far better than their counter parts in semi-urban and urban areas including private schools. The students have participated in varied zonal, district and provincial level competitions and also secured top ranks in various themes, be it debate, seminar, drama, symposium , drawing and painting.

The school has a dedicated Face book page which showcases the glimpses of talent of the students to a wider audience. The author spoke to the cluster head and Principal HSS Salia, Zahida Gul Nasti. The cluster head said that  she  was awestruck and spellbound by the unique strategy planned and executed by the said school and gave utmost credit to teachers and community for working in tandem to ensure the smooth career progression of the students enrolled in the school.

The author also spoke to one of the teachers of the school who gave a fair idea of the success story. The teacher conveyed that they never remain out of reach for their students: be it winter break, summer break and are available round the clock for hand holding of their students.

This has certainly raised their bar in the society and has succeeded in gaining the trust of the society in general and parents in particular. The teachers at times are compelled to refuse admission to the children due to lack of physical infrastructure and human resource, as the scaricity of the resources acts as a limiting factor in furthering the vision of the school.

The school currently is functioning in three-roomed building, which by no means is adequate infrastructure to cater the learning needs of 86 tender students. This certainly is the grey area wherein authorities need to step in, to create requisite infrastructure: physical and human resource so that the school maintains consistency on the conundrum of success .

Dr. Mushtaq Rather, Educator and Research Scholar from Mattan, south Kashmir.

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