Education in Jammu and Kashmir – An Introduction
Paradise on Earth – is what Kashmir is usually described as. Located in the extreme north of the country in the Himalayan mountain range it is a state which has been granted special autonomy under article 370 of the Constitution of India. Kashmir is a tourist’s delight and the Switzerland of India. As per 2011 census the population of Jammu and Kashmir was is 12.54 million, of which the male population is 6.64 million and female population is 5.9 million. The literacy rate of Jammu and Kashmir is 67.16%, of which the male literacy is 76.75% and female literacy is 49.12%. The sex ratio of Jammu and Kashmir is 889 females per 1000 males, which is much below the national average of 940.
School Education in Jammu and Kashmir
Political disturbance and insurgency activities have taken a considerable toll on the education of the children of the state. The Right to Education has yet not been accorded to the state. Free education is provided to students belonging to the poor families who are unable to pay fees for primary education. There has been a marked improvement and the student strength stands at 1.5 million as per 2009 census reports. There are 15000 schools located in different parts in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, covering urban, semi urban and rural areas. The majority of the schools are located in the rural areas which have not only given a boost to rural education but is also aiding in the government effort to eradicate illiteracy from the state. Hindi is the main medium of education though Urdu is also a medium in some of the schools. Most of the schools in the state follow the 10 + 2 system and are affiliated to the Jammu and Kashmir Board of Secondary Education though some are also affiliated
to the Central Board of Secondary Education. Board examinations in the state are conducted for class VIII, class X and class XII.
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Higher Education in Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is home to a number of colleges, which span across various subjects and streams. Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir are spread across all parts of the state. Whether it is a small town or a large city of Jammu and Kashmir, they all have arts & social science, law, engineering, medical, commerce or journalism and mass communication college to cater to the needs of higher education. Jammu and Kashmir has 4 medical colleges, 13 management colleges, 10 engineering colleges, 12 Teacher training colleges, 15 law colleges, 10 Polytechnics, 2 mass communication colleges, 4 agricultural colleges, and 19 degree colleges. All the colleges of Jammu and Kashmir are affiliated to either
University of Jammu and Kashmir or Sri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Jammu. Besides Jammu and Kashmir has numerous research centers and sporting institutions. The paucity of industries however causes aspirants to migrate to other cities for a livelihood.
Education in Jammu and Kashmir – Future
Jammu and Kashmir will have to strive a lot to catch up with the national mainstream, which will only transpire by the attainment of political stability and a resolve of the general populace to excel in the field of their choice.