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New subjects in schools unlikely any time soon

Srinagar Feb 08: Education Department is unlikely to introduce new subjects in schools in the upcoming academic session due to unavailability of funds.
The state government had said that it was planning to introduce new subjects such as Islamic Studies, Tourism, and Microbiology in its schools across the state.
However, as per the insiders, the “priority” now is to upgrade the schools while the introduction of new subjects is going to take.
“There is already a proposal to upgrade 400 schools, for which we need staff. So, the Finance Department is bound to provide funds for upgrading first,” an insider in the School Education Department told The Kashmir Monitor.
The Finance Department, the official said, has “expressed regret” over the introduction of Islamic Studies and Tourism subjects in the schools.
“The deliberations are still on, but there are financial implications involved. If the financial health of the state improves, the subjects may be introduced in the financial year 2019-20,” he said.
The upgrading has not taken place “in the last many years”, while it has been “a long pending”, the official said.
Over the reservations shown by the Finance Department, specifically to the introduction of Islamic Studies and Tourism, another official said, “It could have a cascading effect.”
“If Islamic Studies is introduced in the schools, there could be a demand from other groups demanding more subjects,” he said. “The people of Jammu would demand Pilgrimage Tourism as a new subject if Tourism is introduced as a subject in the schools.”
“After the government made three regional languages compulsory at the secondary level, there has been a demand from many groups to introduce their languages as well.”
Introduction of the new subjects, the official said, “involves creation of posts, which needs concurrence of the Finance Department”.