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Back to School

The new academic session has new challenges for the teaching fraternity in Kashmir

Post by on Monday, March 8, 2021

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 Recommencement of schools in Kashmir valley has started from March 1st with a sheer delight that beamed through the faces of students as well as teachers when high and higher secondary schools reopened in the first phase. Although students of lower classes (from 1st to 5th) are joining the conventional classes from 15th of March due to some fresh Covid-19 cases among the teaching community. The students of middle block (6th to 8th) have also started their normal classes across Kashmir after the three months’ chilly winter season and Covid-19 pandemic. The onset of spring breaks the cool casing of winter’s boredom and ennui, and introduces a person to a new world which we often assume as the harbinger of novelty. The arrival of March in the valley brings joy for all of us and we all try to begin anew.


With other activities afresh here, starts our new academic session in the schools too. Students feel excited to meet their friends and teachers on the first day of their school. Though some students feel nervous or a little scared on the day one because of new things, yet the elation of returning back to one’s school is an exclusive one. However, this new academic session in Kashmir, at the same time, opens up new challenges for the teaching fraternity, predominantly. Teachers have to look at the new academic session through a bigger prism this time because academically, we have lost much and need to get it overhauled for our better tomorrow. The loss in all others sectors can be compensated but the loss in academic circles is simply irreparable. Teachers, time and again, have to tighten the grip of their preparations cum excellence and enhance their level of seriousness for the brighter performance in the classroom.


From past couple of years, we have been continuously observing turmoil in the form of strikes, curfews, etc which rendered education system of Kashmir good for nothing. After 5th August, 2019, our institutions got closed due to socio-political issues in view of the abrogation of Article 370 that divested the erstwhile state of J&K into two union territories of J&K and Ladakh. Soon after it, broke out the Covid-19 pandemic which did not allow us to come closer to one another. No doubt, online system of education like rest of the country was introduced here, and exams either through assignment mode or offline manner was conducted, yet, our students had to bear the brunt leaving a huge vacuum in teaching-learning process.


Done cannot be undone. The new academic session has a message for us and that is to try our level best to get back on the track. Dear teachers, no other asset or property of the country can compensate the academic loss except its teachers. Who else can assess the loss well, except you people and get it reimbursed with your hard work and dedication. What can indefatigable efforts and dedication fetch a person not? Everything, I am sure. With fortitude, hard work, persistence and sincerity, we can not only pay off what we have lost, but we can overcome mountains as well. If we focus on future and with our zeal and zest work in the schools, nothing can then stop us in excelling in our future endeavors.








The first day of the school is a new chance given to us to evaluate ourselves. It’s a great day to pledge to work sincerely. It’s a day to realize that the profession of teaching is not prophetic and sacred only but respectable as well.  All of us, undoubtedly, are highly qualified and trained teachers. But, what is the fun of being highly qualified, competent and trained, if we are not successful in teaching our students as it should be, bringing brighter results and shaping out our societies with our own hands. Only you can do it, dear teachers. You can save the society from the quagmire of corruption and other social-evils that have bemoaned us from all sides.


Schools reopening should be consistent with the country’s overall Covid-19 health response to protect students, staff and their families. Water and hygiene facilities will be a crucial part of schools reopening safely. The administrators should look at opportunities to improve health and hygiene measures, include hand-wash, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing, school hygiene practices and recognition of flu-like symptoms.


Teachers and parents have an important role in making sure that children understand, learn and follow the new rules in schools. Schools will also have to clearly communicate these new rules to the parents so that they are aware, and they also support their children in practicing these new rules and developing habits that are important to protect their health.


All the Schools should plan for catch-up lessons to help bring students back up to speed. All the institutions may implement’ blended learning’ models; a mixture of classroom institution and remote education (self-study through home exercises or online learning).


What has happened has happened now. Regrets won’t lead us anywhere. Sanity lies in learning from the past mistakes. Let’s now look forward without any remorsefulness because future is all we have when past has betrayed us. Need of the hour is, to gear up fervently, update ourselves, and go fully prepared in the classroom to teach students because an unprepared teacher in the classroom is like an untrained driver who may straight lead his vehicle into a ravine and take so many precious lives.


Let’s teach the way NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement) and IMPACT (Integrated Multidisciplinary Professional Advancement Course for Teachers) training programmes taught us and never forget that every fresh academic session throws open great opportunities for us to reform and streamline the system.


All the best for the new academic session ahead. 


(Manzoor Akash works in the Dept. of School Education, J&K. He can be reached on manzurakash@yahoo.co.in)



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