The Truth Behind Education Consultants – Kashmir Observer
By Peer Mohammad Amir Qureshi
Under the searing sun, I found myself outside the Dean’s office alongside my companion,racing against the clock to tick off exam requirements just days away. Amid this arduous endeavor, a Kashmiri couple arrived on campus, the sun’s radiance reflecting off their visages. The woman’s mission: snag an admit card from the Dean. But guess what? It’s not as simple as it sounds. Her admission hangs in limbo, to her profound disappointment, what awaited her was nothing short of a staggering revelation—her admission remained unverified.The origins of this predicament stemmed from the fact that her admission had been orchestrated by a duplicitous consultant, one who habitually ensnares unsuspecting students, capitalizing on their vulnerabilities and offering a comprehensive array of deceptive services. Aided by the innate innocence of students, these cunning operators exploit their aspirations.
The Kashmiri couple was aghast, stunned by this unfortunate turn of events. Frantic calls to the consultant went unanswered, leaving them in disarray. Fortuitously, the woman’s impending exams were deferred, and the aid of a consultant named Zakir sir (Zakir Kashmiri) ultimately secured her rightful admission.Cautionary voices in the academic realm advocate for a prudent reduction in reliance on consultants, emphasizing the need for aspirants to undertake their procedural responsibilities autonomously. Education consultants, those folks hired by colleges Or Universities to handle registrations, can be a lifeline. But here’s the twist – some are like wolves in sheep’s clothing, an ominous shift has taken place, with an insidious cabal of fraudulent advisors exploiting the unwavering trust of impressionable students, weaving tantalizing narratives of overseas or inter-state educational pursuits. Their audacious demands for exorbitant fees, coupled with the peddling of spurious degrees, are indicative of a burgeoning crisis.
In the city of Hyderabad, India, a syndicate of malefactors was apprehended, their malevolent activities centering around the fabrication of counterfeit educational credentials, ostensibly to satiate the stringent visa requirements for overseas education and employment. The intricate web of this operation encompassed an educational consultancy, a software engineer, and their intermediary associates. It becomes evident, however, that the culpability isn’t solely borne by consultants; students themselves sometimes fall prey to their own misguided choices.
To navigate this labyrinthine landscape, experts underscore the imperative of minimizing dependence on consultants. Aspiring scholars should proactively gather exhaustive information before committing to any institution. The digital age’s global village enables Kashmiris worldwide to harness the power of the internet and social media, extracting invaluable insights and reviews from their digital cohorts. Prior to making any commitments, diligent perusal of online resources, coupled with consultation of university-issued lists and alumni endorsements, is judicious.The wisdom of connecting with former attendees of a prospective institution cannot be overstated. Equally, the allure of postgraduate studies should be tempered with the pursuit of esteemed universities over mere colleges, as the former is likelier to host accomplished faculty with exceptional pedagogical acumen. The allure of consultants must be resisted—a clandestine network of brokers, akin to a secretive cabal, is ceaselessly scheming to ensnare unwitting candidates. This shadowy realm extends to the production of counterfeit degrees, allegedly attributed to a plethora of universities across states.The Students Association of Jammu and Kashmir, as stakeholders, are well-positioned to ameliorate this conundrum. Initiatives to catalog unscrupulous entities through blacklisting and disseminating advisories on social media can be a potent tool to counter this consultancy menace. The psychological toll on vulnerable students ensnared by the consultancy mafia underscores the necessity of mental health support. During undergraduate studies, counseling sessions facilitated by seasoned professors should guide students contemplating further education.Government intervention in the form of a dedicated committee or council is pivotal to oversee consultancy operations, imposing penalties on deceptive agencies and compensating victims of their machinations. The current climate mandates astute vigilance—remain alert and prudent. Allow neither gullibility nor naiveté to undermine your journey. Utilize smartphones judiciously, lest they become instruments of your undoing. May divine providence guide us steadfastly along the righteous path.
Views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of Kashmir Observer
- The author is a Ganderbal based columnist and is pursuing an MSc in zoology. He can be reached at [email protected]
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.