Srinagar, Jan 4: J&K Educational Welfare Alliance Srinagar — an amalgam of various stakeholders of private schools of Kashmir region – Thursday expressed dismay over the recent government orders of prescribing common curriculum and textbooks published by JKBOSE for Ist Primary to 12th standard in all private and public schools.
According to the news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the alliance said, “The move has sparked concerns among the stakeholders invested in the future of our children. It inadvertently restricts the choices available to the students and parents, potentially hindering the global aspirations of our youth and jeopardizing the principles of a free and innovative educational system.”
The JK Educational Welfare Alliance Srinagar in a Press Conference held here said, “The recent decision by the educational authorities in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to exclusively mandate the use of educational materials provided by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) has sparked concerns among the stakeholders invested in the future of our children.”
Among the stakeholders that took part in the conference includes, Kashmir Booksellers and Stationers Association, JK (Unaided) Pvt Schools Coordination Committee, Kashmir Schools Federation (Regd), Private Schools Association-(J&K), Parents Association of Privately Administered Schools (PAPAS), Kashmir Private Schools Organization, Civil Society of Kashmir.
According to the welfare alliance the cause was supported by Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (Regd).
“The NEP-2020, a transformative blueprint designed by the central government , underscores the importance of skill-based learning ,leveraging game –based , digital and communicative formats to facilitate holistic development but at the same time we must have to think that whether the books which JKBOSE is trying to implement on the private schools are they in resonance with the NEP-2020 , secondly and do they cater the curriculum designed by new education policy,” reads the statement of welfare alliance.
On the occasion, JK unaided Pvt Schools Coordination Committee also said that the government decision in this regard also poses a significant threat to the quality of education, employment opportunities and the overall economic stability of the region.
“The ripple effects will be felt not only by 200 private publishers, 1,000 representatives of publishers, 3,200 booksellers but also to 10,000 families who earn their bread and butter by the virtue of this trade and by the implementation of this order their whole career and future will be at stake,” it reads.
During the press conference, the welfare alliance raised a question in comparison with other Union territories and States like Delhi, Chandigarh, UP, Maharashtra, it said, “There is no such procedure and the private books are widely being used and prescribed by private schools and the private publishers are growing day by day there.”
Meanwhile, Kashmir Booksellers and Stationers Association said, “We all are having a huge stock of books which we have printed in this year only and by the implementation of this order it will all go in vain and will have no value.”
The association also said that they have taken huge amounts of loan from the banks and other financial institutions for a period of 3- 5 years and they have sanctioned these loans on the merits of their business transactions and by the implementation of this order they will not be in a position to repay these loans. “Hence will impact badly on our whole community and some will face a huge bankruptcy.”
They requested the concerned authorities of JKBOSE and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha that they should be given a time period of 2- 3 years to liquidate their stocks and to recover their outstanding from the market and also the loans from the banks and other financial institutions.
“We have almost 3000 labor staff including salesmen, accountants, packers and helpers who are earning their livelihood by the grace of this trade and once it collapses they will be jobless and that will create a problem for our society,” the association said.
About the tagging of private schools, the welfare alliance said, “At the same time the private schools also face various problems in getting the No objection Certificates (NOC) from various concerned departments and the cases regarding their land records and lease deeds needs to be reviewed.”
“Each certificate takes months altogether while moving from pillar to post and once the certificates that they get are only valid for one year and they are again put in the stress of getting the new certificates. It is also requested that the procurement of land records should be given relaxation for a few years,” the welfare alliance statement reads.
It also said that the NOC’s should be validated for not less than five years’ period and the linkage departments should be instructed to ease the process of issuance of various certificates. “JKBOSE should not stop the facilities for want of NOC’s as that directly affects the future of students.”