Describing teacher’s role as far greater than that of a parent, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday assigned them the huge responsibility of shaping future of the children, who remain the state’s best asset.
He asked the teachers to take forward the baton from the great teachers of the past by providing students quality education with aid of new tools in modern schooling. “Our teachers have pioneered many stalwarts over the years, who have distinguished themselves in various fields all over world,” he said, while emphasizing upon the need to adapt to modern methods of teaching to achieve high standards set worldwide.
The Chief Minister was addressing a large gathering of teachers and students, after inaugurating the historic SP Higher Secondary School, established in 1874, as the first-ever model school in the valley.
Mufti Sayeed, last week, had inaugurated two higher secondary schools at Basohli and Jammu as model schools under CM’s Model School Scheme.
Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Minister of State for Education, Information and Culture, Priya Sethi, Minister of State for H&UDD and I&C, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Minister of State for Health & Social Welfare, Asiya Naqash and Legislators, Noor Mohammad and Khursheed Alam, were also present on the occasion.
Describing present age as the age of knowledge and excellence, the Chief Minister observed that the state has a lot of catching to do to achieve benchmark levels in academics. He said for imparting quality education, capacity building and training of teachers in using latest teaching aids is of paramount importance. “The School Education Department should organize refresher courses for teachers so that they are acquainted with fundamentals of modern teaching,” he said, while asking Director, School Education, to also monitor the quality and performance of teachers in the private schools.
Calling for public-private partnership in the field of education, the Chief Minister said the government will lay great emphasis on enhancing employability of our educated youth by creating linkages with country’s top corporate and business firms and making college campuses active hubs of placements. He said the state will encourage investment in private sector, which will broaden the scope of quality education in the state. “Education must create employment and the government will play role of a facilitator in this,” he assured.
Laying stress upon regular monitoring of students' performance, the Chief Minister said special correction classes should be held to fix grades of weaker lot. This intervention at individual level, he said will go a long way in securing future of several low-performing students and, in the process, make teachers accountable.
Mufti Sayeed, who is also the Head of the State Higher Education Council, also called upon the Education Minister to expedite up-gradation of cluster of colleges to the level of universities in both the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu. He said MHRD has launched a scheme at achieving excellence in the higher education sector, which will help improving ranks of our universities at the global level.
On the request of the Education Minister, the Chief Minister ordered setting up of a heavy-duty de-watering pump station to address the issue of water-logging in the area. The cluster of educational institutions alongside Maulana Azad Road, including SP College, Women's College, J&K IMPARD and SP Higher Secondary School, were inundated in last year’s September floods.
He also sanctioned Rs.1 lakh for the students, who presented an attractive cultural programme on the occasion.
Immediately after inaugurating the school, the Chief Minister inspected the newly set up smart classroom where teachers, trained by NILIET, presented demo lectures with new learning aids. He also interacted with the young ‘student innovators’ of the school and appreciated their scientific temper.
The School Education Department has allocated Rs. 16.5 crore this year for upgrading 220 schools as model schools in the state.
Altaf Bukhari, in his address, said the present government has embarked on the mission of bringing about holistic development of the state, in particular in the education, communication and health sectors.
Speaking on the occasion, Naeem Akhtar said the department is undertaking a Herculean task of reforming the education system in the state on the directions of the Chief Minister. He said time has come to give a sense of ownership to 24000 government schools spread across the state so that their standard of education matches the quality provided by the best and most reputed educational institutions.
Director NILIET, Ayaz Hasssan Moon, informed the Chief Minister about NILIET's tie up with School Education Department to provide smart classroom facility in government schools. He said the model has been well received and Union Ministry of IT has recommended it to MHRD for replication in other schools of the country.
Later, the Chief Minister also gave away prizes to winners of football tournament, organized by J&K Football Association.
Earlier, the principal of the school, Riyaz Siddiqi, gave a brief overview of the school’s performance. He said the school has distinguished itself by getting a ranking amongst the top 100 schools of the country.
Also present were Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner / Secretary School Education, Shaleen Kabra, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon, IGP, Kashmir Zone, SJM Gillani, Director School Education, Shah Faesal, Members of J&K Wakf Board and several other senior officers and teachers of the School Education Department.
DAK cautions against H1N1 outbreak
Issues advisory on vaccination
Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today cautioned the public against possible H1N1 outbreak in valley in view of recent uptick in the number of H1N1 cases.
President DAK and H1N1 expert Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan in a statement to CNS said that the recent spike in H1N1 cases and deaths in states of Maharashtra and Rajasthan has sounded alarm bells in Kashmir.
During previous flu season, health authorities in Kashmir ignored H1N1 outbreak alert which resulted in spread of disease and loss of precious lives.
The unpredictability and changing behaviour of the virus makes it difficult to assess the timing, severity and length of the outbreak.
In a study published in Cell Host and Microbe, 2014 Indian H1N1 virus has undergone mutation that possibly made the virus more virulent and contagious and might also allow it to elude the existing flu shots that cover 2009 pandemic strain.
“In February 2015 H1N1 outbreak, Kashmir witnessed aggressive behaviour of the virus which was responsible for high hospitalizations and deaths,” the statement said.
“SKIMS research lab failed in surveillance and no effort was made to observe any change in the virus and find out whether possible drifted strain is matching current vaccine.” Kashmir is sitting on thorns of yet another H1N1 outbreak and there is no better time for health authorities than now to act.
“Vaccination is the single best way to protect people from flu and even if the virus has changed, vaccine can still protect people because of cross protection,” Dr Hassan said.
“Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 2015-2016 flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and old and people should ideally get vaccinated before flu season begins.”
Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications but are too young to get flu vaccine, so it is mandatory for caregivers of these infants to get vaccine.
If the child has received two or more total doses of flu vaccine before July 01, 2015, then the child needs one dose of 2015-2016 influenza vaccine and if the child has not, the child should receive two doses.