A teacher who has written over 100 books

Rakib Ahmad Zia, a political science professor from central Kashmir, is the author of over 100 books covering various topics.

A native of Naroo Budgam, he is the author of books related to political science, general knowledge and various contests for students as well as the teaching community.

Currently, he is working as an Assistant Professor and also holds the position of Vice Principal at Vitasta School of Law and Humanities in Srinagar.

Rakib told Rising Kashmir that he was the first person in his village to have a higher education and studied at university, but today he is proud that the people of his village are doing good in all domains.

After completing his post-graduation studies in political science, he pursued a master’s degree in philosophy and a bachelor’s degree in education. diploma as well. He started his career in 2003 teaching political science in various high schools and colleges in Kashmir. During his long journey of more than 20 years, he devoted most of his time to writing books to meet the academic needs of students. His objective behind writing books was the unavailability of study materials in the market.

“Novels and fiction books are readily available, but students generally have problems with academic books. The student community often struggles to find suitable study materials. Sometimes the books have very high standards that don’t match the course curriculum,” he said.

As a college student, he felt there was a shortage of textbooks and reference books. Due to the non-availability of the internet in the 90s, he said he used to compile notes by visiting libraries, asking for help from teachers and the elderly. The note-taking process usually takes a long time.

“As a student, I encountered problems during college and university because there were not enough study materials available. Then I started writing books for students to study with. without encountering any problem,” he said.

The first book he wrote in 2003 was on the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. A small manual of about 150 pages is currently available in all libraries. Then a book regarding general knowledge of Jammu and Kashmir was also written by him where he gave a detailed description of all the districts.

“There was no GK book at the time. In the small manual I mentioned all the districts and what they are known for. The book also became very popular. In addition, I wrote a number of books to pass the entrance exams for various courses like PG, B.Ed. etc,” he said.

In 2004-2005, he wrote the book for passing the political science PG entrance exam which was well received by students.

He said that the books regarding various competitions were also not available and the students faced difficult times while preparing.

He also created a dictionary on political science where jargon and important terms were explained in simple words. “The dictionary response was also good. It was compulsory for all students. Also, teachers who teach in various colleges have consulted my books for teaching and they too have recommended my books to their students,” he said.

Still sensing the shortage of writers for the subject, he said he would continue to write books. “It requires a lot of experience and a lot of hard work. If there’s a topic I haven’t covered yet, I get text messages and calls from students,” he said.

Many national and local publishing houses have approached him. Currently, he is working with a former publishing house, Mamta Publishing Private Limited.

Making study materials and reference books was not an easy task for him. “I had to visit the library and collect material from different books. Initially, in the absence of computers, I used to take handwritten notes and have them typed from other places. Later, when I bought my own computer, I had to take out a loan,” he said.

He further stated that he has carried out diaries and old books of years which proved to be of great help. “My habit of reading newspapers every day and archiving them has helped me a lot. I have archived journals almost 10-15 years old which have articles, general knowledge updates and other useful stuff which also helped me in my books. Many times my family told me to throw away these newspapers and old books, but for me it is a treasure,” he said.

Good in studies from the beginning, it was suggested by his acquaintances to opt for scientific subjects but his interest is in literature and social sciences.

He said, “After the school leaving exams, some of my subjects were Urdu, Arabic and political science. My interest in political science developed as it dealt with states, governance, rights and the constitution. It talks about rights and duties and something that relates to our everyday life.

Due to his interest in literature, he also has some writings in Urdu. To give lessons, he also created a YouTube channel.

“I used to see content about comedy and news on YouTube a lot, I also saw educational content and thought we could use it for educational videos and my students told me also suggested creating a channel. They said people from other states can also see my speakers. It’s been 4-5 months now and there are a good number of subscribers,” he said.

In the past, Rakib also taught in many coaching centers, but he felt the need to have a counseling section in the academies to guide the students.

“With the proliferation of coaching centers, the quality has dropped. I thought that in an academy there should also be an orientation and counseling section. In addition to teaching students, we can also advise them.

In the future, he plans to open an academy where counseling sessions with students regarding career options can be arranged with the experts. “Students who are good at studying are often told to choose science as their subjects, but in the future they are not able to pass the entrance exams, which frustrates them. It is necessary to guide students and inform them about the different career options. On a personal level, I advise students,” he added.

Speaking about career opportunities in political science, he said, “In political science, if a student pursues higher education, then he can opt for teaching. There are many educational opportunities in colleges, schools, etc. Political science is also taught in lower grades, which has opened up many opportunities. Also, political science gives us detailed knowledge about politics, governance and elections etc. One can also join politics at the level of Panchayat, municipality, state or country. Also, one can be a political adviser or a spokesperson. There is also a scope in writing. You can also write about international issues. One can also work in human rights organizations and NGOs.

He added that law and political science are interdependent. “In the BA LLB course, there is a political science subject in 1st and 2n/a semester. Also, public administration is more about political science. Students are very interested in the subject because it is very much related to law,” he said.

Talking about his struggles, he said he came from a poorly educated family. “My parents were uneducated and other members of my family didn’t study much, but I made the decision to continue my education.”

While concluding with the message, he said, “Students need to be focused. The purpose of education is not to get a job. Education helps in the development of personality. People should not discourage students from furthering their education and working in different fields while studying. In foreign countries, students study and also do other work. This culture has not yet been developed. This is the reason why many educated people are unemployed.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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