Schooling in Kashmir’s Unease

children_study_outdoors_in_destroyed_rubble_of_school

While the youth of Kashmir faces angry jibes against him for allegedly steering street protests in the post Burhan Wani era, recent developments in the valley show the student community is keen to gain knowledge and prosper ushering in a bright future.

The valley is full of success stories which go to show the extent to which the local youth can excel in their choice of field. For the past nearly a decade, youngsters have been cracking tough competitive exams and are wanting to move beyond just a typical strife filled Kashmir life.

There has been widespread condemnation against the burning down of nearly 33 schools in the valley. Those for the good of children say that why burn schools.

The closure of schools for the past months has hit the student community hard.

With schools shutting for Chillai Kalan the chilliest 42 days students are putting their best foot forward even if that means for a week before closure.

The constant unrest and strikes have forced schools to remain shut for five months now.
Children and teachers speaking via media have over these months said that politics should not be allowed to ruin their education. They feel schools should function normally.

Last month, the state government announced a mass promotion of students and went ahead with class 10 and 12 board exams. Massive turnout was seen for the exams.

News outlets reported high turnouts at the examination centres: nearly 95% for Class 12 and nearly 99% for Class 10.

Classes had not been held since Wani’s death in July, syllabi remained incomplete.
Younger children who attended curfew-schools relied on tuitions. Amidst a supposed exam boycott call among angry students, school buildings across the Valley mysteriously started going up in flames.

Nearly 100 people were killed in the protests and hundreds more maimed or blinded by pellet guns.

Most schools in Kashmir are open during weekends as separatist groups relaxed their call for strikes over Saturdays and Sundays.

Kashmir has been witnessing unrest and shutdown since July 9, a day after killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

Police have arrested at least 33 persons for their involvement in burning of schools and at least 14 of them are likely to be booked under stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

Meanwhile in good news, separatists have decided to trim their week-long protest shutdown to two days a week slowly bringing the curtain down on a bloody agitation they spearheaded for five months.

Hurriyat sources told agencies the over five-month-long protest shutdown is likely to be called off partially.

The unrest — the deadliest in six years — has also left over 12,000 persons, including security men, injured.

Around 150 people injured by pellets fired from pump action guns by the security forces face the prospect of permanent blindness.

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