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Army chief pitches for revamp of education in J&K

Social media and government schools in Jammu and Kashmir are spreading a “disinformation campaign” resulting in radicalisation of youth, Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat claimed today, and called for “some control” over mosques and madrassas in the state.

He said a “major revamp” of the education system was needed in the state to deal with the problem.

Rawat said the issue of exercising some amount of control over mosques and madrassas to check the flow of “disinformation” was being looked into.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of the Army Day, Rawat said each classroom in government schools in Jammu and Kashmir has a separate map of the state besides that of India which sowed the seeds of thought of some kind of “separate identity” among the children.

“The damage done to us is through the social media. A very large amount of disinformation campaign is being spread in Jammu and Kashmir which is radicalising the youths through the social media and through the schools,” he said.

“The other issue is the madrassas and masjids — what is being informed to them (the students) or incorrectly informed to them is through the madrassas and masjids. I think some controls have to be exercised there and that is what we are looking at.”

He, however, did not elaborate on what kind of control he was suggesting over such institutions.

Rawat also suggested that some stone-throwers in Kashmir were youth from government schools, and stressed on the need to reform the education system.

“If you go to any Kashmir school, you will find two maps — one is the map of India and one is the map of Jammu and Kashmir. There are always two maps in every classroom. Why should there be a map of Jammu and Kashmir? If you are putting a map of Jammu and Kashmir, then you may as well put map of every state.

“What does it mean to children that I am part of the country but I also have a separate identity. So, the basic, grassroots problem lies here is the way the education in Jammu and Kashmir in government school has been corrupted,” claimed Rawat.

He said students from schools like DPS were not found involved in activities like stone-pelting, and added that is why the ‘goodwill schools’ run by the Army “are accorded higher status”.

The Army chief noted opening more public schools, more CBSE schools, was the way forward.

“In the schools in Kashmir — the government schools — what is being taught. I will only be happy if you can visit some of the schools and attend the classes and see what is being taught,” Rawat said, without elaborating.

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