Education Worst Hit During 42 Days of Clampdown in Kashmir Valley
Parents have been reluctant to send children to school because of the suspension of mobile phone services.
While schools, colleges and universities are functioning normally in the Jammu and Ladakh divisions of the two Union Territories, the same cannot be said for the Kashmir Valley, where education has been the worst hit because of the clampdown.
Authorities have opened schools up to 10th standard in the Valley but the attendance of children in these educational institutions has been disappointing thus far.
“All the teaching staff have been attending their duty regularly in the Valley’s government-run schools, although the attendance of children has not improved,” said an official of the School Education Department.
Parents have been reluctant to send children to school as they are unable to keep track of them because of the suspension of mobile phone services.
“We used to keep track of our children through mobile phones by calling the school authorities, or the bus drivers in case of private schools. In the present uncertain situation, however, no one wants to take a chance with the child’s safety especially when mobile phones are not working.”Javaid Shah, father of two school-going children in Srinagar old city
The Exam Problem
Submission of examination forms for the 10th class has already started in the Valley, even though students said that they had not covered all the topics of their academic syllabus.
“We haven’t been taught many of the topics in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Social Sciences yet. How can we answer all the questions unless they ignore the untaught topics?” asked a class 10th student.
The general demand of 10th class students to curtail the syllabus has not yet been accepted by the authorities.
Farooq Ahmad Khan, the advisor on education to the Governor, has said that all school exams will be held in the Valley even if they’re delayed by some days. Khan also dispelled rumours of any mass promotion of students to higher classes on account of the prevailing uncertainty.
Colleges and universities, however, have remained shut for 42 days now.
"All colleges and universities will start functioning soon in the Valley as the situation is fast returning to normal," said an official of the Higher Education Department.
This is likely to have a cushioning effect on the attendance of students in schools. It is, however, believed that authorities do not want a student unrest to add to their law and order problems.
“We do not want anti-social elements to play with the future of our students by stoking passions through unfounded rumours. Institutions of higher learning in the Valley will start functioning after the situation improves further in the coming days,” said another government official.
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