Parents not ready to risk their children, restrictions make student, staff movement difficult
Sopore: The government diktat to open educational institutions in four districts of Kashmir Valley on Thursday was largely ignored in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Most government and private schools in the district remained closed, as no one from their staff or students turned up.
Even as the order for the schools to open was issued late on Wednesday, there was no let up in the strict restrictions imposed by the state in response to massive protests against the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.
It was, therefore, nearly impossible for the staff and students of the schools to resume work.
“One of my staffers tried to contact the peon for keys, but police didn’t allow him to reach the school. In such a situation, it is impossible for our staff and students to make it to the school,” Shabir Ahmad, principal of Government Boys Higher secondary School, Sopore, told Kashmir Reader.
Ahmad and a couple of his staffers managed to reach the institute only to discover that the school was locked because the rest of the staff could not make it.
The schools in about 22 educational zones in the district recorded zero attendance. In Rohama zone that this correspondent managed to visit amidst strict restriction on movement, the schools were locked with no staff or students around.
The order to open the school has enraged the people, who are concerned about the safety of their school-going children.
Abdul Aziz Paray, a parent, said that the government order was both “silly” and “dangerous”.
“Which parents will send their children to schools in this standoff? What if my child is hit by a stone? Will Naeem Akhtar take the responsibility? We will not be a part of these games that the government is playing. Let them resolve the current imbroglio first. Education is important but lives are more important.”
Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Sopore, said if the government was concerned about the future of children in Kashmir, it should begin by stopping to blind them with pellets.
“We are not ready to accept these lies from the PDP-BJP combine. Omar Abdullah government made the same mistakes in 2010 and then tried to hoodwink the people of Kashmir by talking about children’s education.”
Reports suggested that response to the order was similar in the other three districts—Bandipora, Ganderbal, and Budgam.
However, Kashmir Reader could not get more details from the districts due to communication blockade.
Schools reopened after summer vacation: Kabra
According to Commission Secretary School Education, Shaleen Kabra, schools in some districts of the Valley and winter zone of Jammu division opened on Thursday after summer vacation.
In rural areas where staff is mostly local, the schools witnessed moderate attendance while in semi-urban centres, restricted movements due to bandh calls resulted in thin attendance in the schools.
It is pertinent that schools in the Valley had not observed any break since March 2015 on reopening after the floods till the summer vacations from 1st July 2016 were announced as even during winter months, tuitions were conducted for students with active participation of teachers.
Super 50 Tuitions Centres proved useful for meritorious students, he said.
The current academic session too has seen intense educational activity by the teachers in achieving minimum learning levels and imparting quality education to substantially improve results.
With community demanding better and more conducive environment for children, it is expected that the schools will resume proper functioning shortly, Kabra added. (Information Department)