Though the High Court had instructed it to consider mass promotion up to Class 7, the Directorate of School Education has announced no decision so far, leaving thousands of students and their parents in a dilemma. When floods hit Kashmir early September, first term and unit three examinations up to this level had already been held, covering eighty percent of the session’s academic work. Promoting students to higher classes should, therefore, not have been much of an issue but for a misconceived campaign that appears to have misled authorities who are experts in their field and better placed to take the decision.
Annual examinations for Classes 10 and 12, major exercises involving tens of thousands of students and massive logistics, were postponed to March, despite the Education Minister’s differing opinion, who wanted to stick to the normal schedule. This was followed by strict directions from the Directorate of Education warning schools of dire consequences for holding internal examinations. If only the directorate had ever put its foot down so firmly for improving the standard of education in Kashmir.
Since a decision has been announced in their case, students from Class 8 to 12 have prepared themselves mentally for examinations in March, but those in lower classes do not know what to do. These young minds ought to be of relieved of their anxiety and uncertainty. Since November is almost over and the winter cold already up on the Valley, announcing mass promotions till Class 7, as soon as possible, would appear to be the most prudent option.
Second, the autumn session suits the Valley and some zones of the Jammu region, experts having taken the decision decades ago to enable students to appear in competitive examinations and to take part in sports activities and educational tours. The spring session, therefore, should not become a routine. If self-appointed authorities begin to lead experts at the Directorate of Education by their nose, the system needs a general overhaul.