Jammu: Gone are the days when improvised areas like of Bhalessa witnessed grim educational face. There is an irreversible tide in the sphere of education right from elementary to higher and technical sectors. This paradigm shift may be due to the upcoming of the institutions of excellence in the area.
The institutions booming in the area are to be credited in this direction.
Bhalessa- nestling amongst high mountainous and cliffy terrain of Doda in Jammu and Kashmir state of India Himalayan region, off shooting high where skies are the limits, it is most prominent township called Bhalessa.
Where spirituality attunes the skies resting aside castes, creed and colours and above all religions, it is here, that is Bhalessa. It is Bhalessa where Ruby Gems on mountainous slopes glows and glitters and marble of Thathri twinkle amidst dense, vibrant, lush green uplands it is here that Perched securely among the lofty snow-sprinkled mighty Himalayan mountain chain, the emerald blue skies peeping through the chinks of the clouds, the tall coniferous trees swaying to the rhythm of the gusts of wind, all condense into a kindly smile, forming the lovely Bhalessa.
Once upon a time, the education was rare, there was a single primary school at Kalgoni Bhalessa where in rare people got enrolled to get education. Ghulam Rasool Azad and Munshi Mohammed Anwer were the first to get education from this primary school. Both Munshi and Azad Munshi Sahib studied at the Government Primary school in Kilhotran and then were sent to Bhaderwah for further studies.
Presently the area seemed full of enthusiasm and attire to receive education initiated by the state and centre.
Besides this, the tattering educational affairs of the area was shaped by the then Director Education Ghulam Rasool Azad who belongs from the area. Packed with outstanding achievements, Ghulam Rasool Azad left no stone unturned to revamp the education system of the area. As ill luck would have it this legendary man not remained among the people.
At this moment, Bhalessa has been revealed as a hub of education as the introduction of new institutions of higher learning and increases impetus on the information technology and professional education. IGNOU and some other organisations have started churning several industrially employable graduates from the area.
The tattering educational affairs have been altered after G R Azad era. The people seemed interested to access the rural information centres in this hilly terrain.
The setting up of Government Higher secondary schools in Gowari, Sinoo, Jakyas, Gandoh, Malanoo has had its great significance over the past five years as the people of these areas thought of higher objectives.
The local people were demanding immediate setting up of Government Degree College at Bhalessa and the government finally established the same. IGNOU and some other organizations like ITI started churning several graduates in diverse disciplines is an unprecedented growth towards the education of this hilly terrain. IGNOU set up its centre in Bhalessa in the year 2006 and was galvanized by the local masses and administration.
Apart from academic and vocational side, there has been an unprecedented growth of Maddersa’s in this improvised area. There is rising tide in madersa education, as is being witnessed today. The Madersa’s increased in number.
Interestingly, the number rose to 10. Besides nurturing the Islamic clerics from these Madersa’s including Hafiz and Ulema, these institutions seemed increasingly imparting modern education also at the pattern of other government schools under the ambit of the state government.
Innovative madrasa’s like the Jamia Gunyat ul Uloom are increasingly visible today, Jamia Gunyat ul Uloom Bhatyas established in the year 1983 and was named after Hazrat Abdul Gani Sadiqui. The madersa is managed by Gunyat Ul Uloom Trust Bhalessa is the largest Institution imparting Madersa and academic education to the students of hilly terrain of Bhalessa.
It currently has more than a thousand students on its rolls. Patterned on the Dar ul Uloom Deoband model, it is one of the few madrasas in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that provide Islamic education till the Alim Fazil or specialization level.
Besides Jamia, there are several other maddersa’s like Maddersa Asrar Ul Uloom at Neeli Bhalessa named after Shah Asrar ud Din Bagdadi (RA). Other Madersas are:- Maddersa Anwar-e-Madina Gandoh, Maddersa Aweesya Ameenya Dhraveri, Gulshan-e-Madina at Dhadkai hamlet, Akhyar ul Uloom at Kahara, Gayas Ul Uloom at Gingota hamlet, Inam ul Uloom at Donadi, Ume-Sadiqa at Kilhotran, and Zia-ul Uloom at Thathri.
In these madrasah’s, the academic education envisaged by the state education department is being provided besides the Islamic and Arabic studies like recitation of Quran popularly known as Hifz and Ulema to become isamic clerics.
There were several forces at work help to create educational assess to assess to information to the elites inhibiting the villages nearby, Such forces include NGOs framed by intellectual strata.
The NGO culture seemed its head high Educational Environmental social sports and cultural society Bhalessa, National Students Welfare Association Bhalessa, Kohistan Association Bhalessa. These NGOs involved themselves in mass cultivation programmes including education I mention here the contribution of these NGOs here,
Over 10 years all these NGOs started free education camping’s/ summer schools for the needy students of the area, NGO- Kohistan Association, NHRDS has to be credited in this direction as the NGO organized six free education camps in Bhalessa in early five years.
NGO National Students Welfare Association Bhalessa is having its big contribution for setting up of an IGNOU Special study centre in Bhalessa and putting forth the demand for setting up of Government Degree College at Kilhotran.
IGNOU as an innovative institution has started churning industrially oriented people. This is for the first time in the history of the state that IGNOU is offering such programmes under the scheme f special centres, in collaboration with an NGO- National Students Welfare Association (NSWA)
On the other hand, In the summer of 1996, a few NGOs got together to think of ways in which they could play a role in the development of education in hilly terrain of Bhalessa Doda of J&K state. These young people shared the belief that education is a critical requisite and an effective catalyst for social and economic change in the area. Educational awareness became the agenda for the action group that emerged from this gathering, to represent the hope that had brought these individuals together and the hope that they aimed to bring into the lives of youth of the area.
The organization like Kohistan Association headed by Ghulam Hussain Bhall, National Students Welfare Association and NHRD Society headed by Basharat Hussain Malik managed free education camps for the students who were unable to perceive their education. The camps were hghly endorsed by local scholarly community like Shoket Ali Mattoo and Noor ul Hassan Wani.
As far as primary education is concerned, there are two separate educational zones controlled by ZEO Gandoh covering all area of Gandoh, Neeli, Dudwar, Gowari, Jitota upto Khaljugasar Panchayat, and ZEO Bhatyas covering areas like Malanoo, Kahara, Jakyas upto halaran village.
On being prompted by the Tehsil Administration and Sub Divisional Megistrate Bhalessa, students and teachers of all these Institutions share a single table on the eve of Independence Day celebrations where they deliver patriotic speeches.
As per the preliminary survey conducted by local NGO-National Students’ Welfare Association (NSWA) Bhalessa, there are —–schools wherein the students have to stay under open air to get education. Some such schools are either having no building or damaged infrastructure.
Ironically, The Government Middle School in Manoie Bhatyas is the testimony of the state of sorry affairs as the students has to stay under the lap of nature to get instructions from their teachers. The school building is totally damaged and students in a bad weather conditions have to leave their studies. In summer it becomes difficult for innocent poor children to stay in the school owing to the inadequate infrastructure like buildings.
The infrastructure of the most of these schools is in a bad shape. Some schools are without buildings and some are lacking teachers.
Very recently, the government under the leadership of the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mohammed Sharief Niaz MLA Bhaderwah sanctioned one Degree College at Kilhotran, that too is confronting inadequate infrastructure facilities like accommodation, the college is being run from single or two rooms vacated by Government Higher secondary school kilhotran, and finally the school has become prey of inadequate infrastructure forcing the students to sit in an open air.