Since time immemorial, the importance of education has never been overlooked. Education is important for a girl as well as a boy. It is a universal fact that nations that invest in education, gain in every field. China is a live example. The developing country like India, has not this kind of mindset till now. In India, there are a lot of boys and girls who are outside the schools. No one is serious about them. In the same vein, in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, there are many boys and girls who still are outside the schools. Some are doing petty jobs while some are helping their family members in their daily chores. In this case, our village, Hajibagh has set an example. Hajibagh comes under Budgam district. At our village, parents teach their girl children with great devotion up to the matric or to the higher secondary level but after that, there is a total change in mindsets towards teaching girls. They are not interested in teaching them. They have fears of their own. Their fears are genuine. But all are not true. Reaching this stage has taken a lot of time. But why have we reached this stage? What are the causes responsible for this?
First is that the majority of people in our village is illiterate. They themselves have not been to schools. They feel it that it is the wastage of time to send children to schools, particularly, the girls. Basically, it is not their fault. They belong to the poor families. They were denied education due to poverty. Their desires were shattered. In the same vein, they think that their children won’t do anything good. They don’t believe that there will be a change in the environment.
Second is that in our village, the pass out girls have not done something remarkable in their studies. They simply qualified the examinations and got nothing on the intellectual level. They are as good as the illiterate girls. They only have some paper degrees that set them apart from others. In this situation, parents feel that there is no necessity to waste money and time.
Third is our educational system is incompatible with the modern age. Moreover, it never differentiates between two students. Individual differences are not taken into account in our educational system. The same kind of knowledge is imparted to the different students. In this atmosphere, the majority of the students feel suffocated. Their curiosities are overlooked. Their innovative concepts have no customers. They want to change the status quo but when the opposite takes place, they feel neglected and stop learning.
Fourth is that imitation is on rise. A girl imitates another girl in the majority of things. If a girl is forced to leave her education, another girl also follows her. In this way, a fashion of leaving studying takes place in the society and the result is destruction.
Fifth is that girls are told that the world is temporary. It is better to prepare for the Hereafter. At our village, education has been differentiated on the basis of the worldly and the religious lines. But it is quite absurd. It is up to us how to impart it and make it cohesive. Dividing knowledge into these narrow groups, is not a good idea at all. The consequences of this mindset is that a girl prepares herself for the next world. She loses touch with the present world.
Sixth and last is that we waste our resources in futile activities. We love religiosity. In case of the Muslims, performing Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Makkah is obligatory once in a life. But what is the need of performing the lesser pilgrimages frequently? Instead, this money should be utilized in teaching the orphans, the girls, the disadvantaged, etc. In the same vein, we love customs and rituals. Well, it is necessary to preserve one’s culture but it doesn’t mean that we waste our resources in following illogical rituals. We can save time and money, if we leave the useless rituals. The money spent here, can be utilized in creating a good society.
Saving these girls from destruction should be the priority of everyone. They belong to us; so we have to come forward. We can save them. But it needs a well-planned approach. It will take time but we will win at the end of the day. Hope good sense prevails!