JK News Today
Altaf Bukhari is more than a doer . Not only has he helped restore a sense of confidence among teachers in the state who were finding them beleaguered as they were portrayed as largely incompetent and burdened by other activities other than teaching .
No doubt that the Rehbar-e-Talim teachers have their own stories and some of them have more activities than in class rooms , partly because of the low pay. But they were the willing recruits , pushed by the prolonged spells of unemployment and need for money to survive in the conflict zone .
Teaching in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Valley and remote areas has become a dangerous profession . They are caught in a situation where they have to teach the children and at the same time bow to the societal and pressure from militants to tell the children , who they are ? Here it is also important for them to inform the children what is going on and why soldiers are militants are fighting each other . There are so many atmospherics that converge in the classrooms – the crackdowns, stone throwing , gun battles, “ martyrdom” of young boys or their school mates.
A teacher cannot escape from telling the children, what was happening around . There he becomes part of a narrative that is beyond the text books and the world affairs . His/ her job is to sharpen the appetite of the children for ambitions to accomplish something great in their lives . But when the local surroundings peddle the idea of conflict , things are clouded . Teachers and student relationship changes. They tend to become rebels for the local considerations weigh far more heavy on their minds than the ambitions spelled out in the normal circumstances.
Altaf Bukari has a bigger task ahead . He should work for changing the overall scenario. First as a citizen of Kashmir as it is their responsibility to free the next generation from the idea of violence as liberator . And, as Education Minister , he has fulfilled some responsibility by freeing teachers of so many pressures like doing census or the poll duty , but they need to be the real guides of the children. He has to stand as a hope for the children all across the state . That would define his real role in the right perspective .
His predecessor moved on some of the issues, but unfortunately, a substantial period of his tenure in Education was consumed by the unrest. But, now Altaf has to face all the challenges. As Education Minister , he holds key to peace in Kashmir.
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