January 11th, 2016
Image Source: hindustantimes
Afzal Guru born in Kashmir was convicted and given the death sentence for his role in the December 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament. His son Ghalib Guru who had just appeared for his 10th standard exams scored a whopping 95 percent i.e., 474 marks out of 500. He has secured ‘A1’ grade in all five subjects.
Ghalib’s performance in the examinations became a talking point on the social media with many lauding the boy “for excelling despite hardships” and wishing him good luck and also reminding people how the pen is mightier than the sword. Ghalib guru in an interview to a Kashmiri News outlet has shared his ambitions of becoming a doctor and how his father used to remind him to work hard to fulfill his ambitions.
Jammu & Kashmir’s dismal education system & Ghalib
It is important to evaluate Ghalib’s performance in the backdrop of Jammu and Kashmir’s dismal education infrastructure. Kashmir has a very poor literacy rate of 67.16 % and the state also has the highest incidence of child labor in India, according to a survey conducted by professor Fayaz Ahmed Nikka. The survey cites lack of educational awareness, poverty, and compulsion as reasons for these staggering numbers. A number of government schools are reported to be empty with 26 such schools in Jammu district alone, thus adding to the poor sanitation of the schools in Kashmir. According to data from the state’s Unified District Information System for Education, 6,351 schools in Jammu and Kashmir lack toilets for girls while 8,098 lack toilets for boys. A good education system and facilities can help the state’s efforts to streamline with the mainstream and make news for the right purposes. Ghalib’s story reiterates and reinforces the importance of education among children particularly in conflict-ridden areas. Efforts towards quality universal education could be the defense against a lot of social evils which has plagued the society. Hope Ghalib inspires many children in Kashmir and other states to pursue their education with a renewed purpose and the administration to prioritize education in the state. There is a good chance that education could be the panacea to all the problems in Jammu & Kashmir.