World Education Day: Youth of IIOJK Fears Dark FutureJanuary 24, 2024
Education is more than just the transmission of knowledge; it is the key to unlocking a child’s potential, and fostering a holistic development that goes beyond basic literacy. However, in the troubled region of IIOJK, children are facing severe challenges in their education, leading to profound consequences for their future.
The recurrent strikes and curfews in IIOJK have become a harsh reality, creating an unpredictable and challenging environment for students. These disruptions not only hinder the continuous flow of education but also contribute to the rise of unemployment among the youth, who find themselves unable to complete their courses. As the saying goes, time lost cannot be regained, and for the children of Kashmir, each break in education is a lost opportunity that may never be recovered.
The mental toll on these children is deep, with breaks in education accompanied by fear, trauma, and a lack of stimulating activities. The aftermath of Article 370’s abrogation in August 2019 has exacerbated the situation, leading to an unprecedented shutdown in IIOJK. Movement restrictions, internet blackouts, and a clampdown on media reporting have not only affected daily life but also disrupted the functioning of educational institutions, leaving students in limbo.
One of the most significant challenges faced by educators in IIOJK is inadequate compensation for their services. Insufficient salaries force teachers to struggle with financial constraints, making it difficult for them to meet their families’ basic needs. Consequently, even their own children are unable to enroll in schools or colleges, perpetuating a cycle of limited access to education.
Parents, fearing for their children’s safety, contribute to poor attendance in schools, compounding the challenges faced by the education system. The lack of a secure learning environment further hinders the children in IIOJK an ability to thrive academically and emotionally.
India must be held accountable for the educational crisis in IIOJK. Beyond reopening schools, there is a need for financial support to ensure teachers are adequately compensated, creating a stable foundation for education. Moreover, efforts must be directed towards providing a safe and secure learning environment, fostering not only academic growth but also emotional well-being. The children of IIOJK deserve an opportunity for holistic development so that the Kashmiri nation takes immediate steps to secure their future.