Situation in Kashmir leading to disorder in education sector
Srinagar: The education sector is faced with dilemmas of various kinds in Kashmir. On Monday when the class 12th students had to appear for their final exams the board postponed the exams owing to civilian killings and the subsequent protests.
The JK Board of School Education (BOSE) had notified the date sheet for class 10th to 12th annual examination, despite stiff opposition from students. The students demanded deferment of exams to mid-November citing non-completion of syllabus in schools.
On Monday, the students were supposed to appear in their first paper. However the authorities had to postpone the exams in wake of civilian killings in Kulgam district.
Seven civilian killings were reported from Kulgam district, who died due to the blast inside the house wherein three militants were gunned down by government forces in an encounter earlier in the day.
In wake of this, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) called for a complete shutdown on Monday. The call was supported by various other organizations as well.
Amid this uncertainty in Kashmir, the education sector continues to bear the brunt after witnessing closure of educational institutions in past months as well. The frequent postponement of exams emerges as a major challenge for the authorities.
On Sunday the JK BOSE chairperson repeatedly stated that the exams slated for Monday will be held as per schedule. The decision remained unchanged till late evening hours.
But the divisional authorities after taking feedback from deputy commissioners decided to postpone the exams. With this the classwork also remained disturbed in the schools.
“It becomes very hard for us to defer the exams because we face many issues to reschedule it later. We try our best to go ahead with the notified dates but situation puts us at back foot,” an official in JKBOSE said.
The official further said the extending exams prove costly for students because they don’t get enough time to prepare for various competitive exams.
Pertinently, the frequent closure of schools also takes a toll on the academics of the students.
“We are never willing to order suspension of class work in school or order the closure of these educational institutions. But we forcibly surrender given the prevailing situation in Kashmir,” an official in education department said.
On Monday, all the schools and colleges remained closed in Kashmir, unofficially. Besides the Islamic University of Science and Technology also postponed the exams and had suspended the class work in the varsity for one day. The Kashmir University (KU) had to also reschedule the BGG Ist semester exam which was earlier slated for Monday.
“In any law and order situation, holding exams becomes the major challenge for the authorities,” an official in KU said, adding that the deferment of exams was not good for continuing the academic session smoothly.
“But if we won’t defer exams, we will face public ire. And once we postpone the exams, we are accused of extending the session and spoiling the career of students,” the official said, adding that the rescheduling of exams becomes a challenge because they don’t get a slot to adjust the exams.
“Once the paper is deferred, it becomes hard to find a slot to adjust the postponed exams,” he said.
Amid this uncertainty, the authorities are apparently caught in a catch-22 situation to run the education sector smoothly.
“The education sector in Kashmir is caught between the devil and the deep sea because of the prevailing uncertainty,” an official said.