Though the Jammu and Kashmir government appears to have done some thinking, at last, it is curious that its education minister should have been so out of sync with the situation on the ground, and announced a grandiose decision to hold major school examinations in November. Luckily, the government hastily withdrew the minister’s words, and reverted to better sense in a cabinet meeting.
The decision to hold school and college examinations in March will certainly have been welcomed in Kashmir where damage to the education sector has been extensive and people are still struggling to find shelter and the wherewithal for some form of living. How the education minister expected a massive exercise like Class 10 and 12 examinations to be held when the Board of School Education would have trouble finding its own signboard is a question better left to his undoubted genius, but the public would be wondering what rabbits he would he have been able to pull out of his hat had the cabinet gone along with him.
If for nothing else, than at least to clear doubts in the minds of many people as well as his colleagues in the state’s council of ministers, the worthy may enlighten the world as to the administrative feat he had in mind when issuing his order. In its highly exercised state, Jammu and Kashmir’s political and bureaucratic set up could certainly do with some inspiration. Who better than the education minister?
Now that the government has given itself a breather at least on one count, it should use the time productively to work out and execute a practical plan to hold examinations in March as scheduled.
Examinations in November, when most students had lost one full month in floods and would be busy, along with their families, coping with the aftermath, would only have added to their distress, and severely interfered with their preparations – had they been able to retrieve their texts and notes, that is.