Private schools livid over postponing annual exams

Srinagar: An organisation of private schools in Kashmir Valley on Saturday condemned the state government’s decision to postpone the annual examinations till March next year, terming it a “politically motivated” move and threatened to approach the court on the issue.
“Despite only a small number of schools getting affected (by recent floods), government has put in jeopardy the academic year of all the students. Ninety percent of school students and 80 percent of all college students remained unaffected during the floods, but government has en masse postponed all the examinations. This is sheer injustice to the entire student community,” G N Var, general secretary Private Schools United Front (PSUF) said in a statement here.
Var said by the end of August, all schools had almost completed their syllabus and there was no need to postpone the examinations.
Annual examinations are held in schools in October and November in Kashmir Valley and some parts of Jammu region.
“The syllabus was complete and two term exams were also conducted, so now was the time for (annual) exams only,” Var said, adding a different approach to deal with the situation was needed.
“There were other options like conducting symbolic exams or considering performance in previous terms for promotion to upper class,” he said.
He accused the government of taking up a “politically motivated” decision to benefit just few schools.
“There are some so-called elite schools which were destroyed in these floods, and to accommodate them, they have simply sacrificed the time and effort of lakhs of poor students,” said Var. “It was a one-sided political decision and government never consulted any other stakeholder like any school association or the parents’ body.”
Var said that by postponing the exams the government has “literally rendered all the schools defunct. As of now we have finished the entire syllabus at our schools and this government decision has rendered us without any work. It is better government simply shuts down all educational institutes in the Valley as now we have nothing to do at the premises.”
The PSUF said the schools are not entirely against the decision but it lacks a rationale. “Our October session already creates problems for our students and they can’t compete in various exams like JEE. Now if government would have decided that October session will be replaced with March-April session permanently, then it makes some sense and we may agree.”
The PSUF said that due to this policy, the current academic session of students would be lost and the next session of students would be very short, thus affecting them two ways. Var also asked for making semester system mandatory for various classes from next session to remove the anomaly, which hinders the progress of Kashmiri students.