SRINAGAR: A research carried out by Chinar International- a non-governmental organization (NGO) working in the field of education- has found that a large number of students support the strikes as a form of protest.
The report titled “Education and Unrest in Kashmir- A way forward” was released by Irfan Shahmiri, Global Executive Director of Chinar International and Jahnagir Raina conducted the research regarding how the 2016 uprising has impacted the education of children in Kashmir.
During the study, the researcher interviewed 3000 stakeholders including students and parents from all income groups.
“There is substantial support for the strikes in Kashmir. Around 75 percent of the respondents favored the strike while as 25 percent did not agree with the mode of protest,” the research revealed.
The study further found no evidence which would show that the strike was confined to a particular socio-economic group.
The research revealed that 37.5 percent children want to leave Kashmir during the unrest while as 12.3 percent migrated in real.
“The students support for strike stems from political beliefs and also from the lack of belief in the faulty education system which they deem to have reached the dead end as far as their future career prospects are concerned,” the study found.
While students concede that unrest impacts education, they fix the responsibility of that impact squarely on the state, the study found, adding, 60 percent students said their education was impacted mostly due to the restrictions laid by the government forces (including curfew).
“There is 70:30 split in rural and urban population, curfew a phenomenon in urban areas including inner townships. Schools in rural areas did not open except the handful. There were 53 days of curfew during the unrest. Despite that the schools remained closed for three months,” the study revealed.
The study found that the restrictions and curfew were more damaging as far as their education was concerned.
“In terms of substitute to the formal schooling stored digital content with a user interface seems to be the easiest way forward in absence of the internet. As many as 78 percent respondents favoured e-learning through TV or radio broadcast,” the study added.
It further revealed that only 15 percent respondents reported functioning of the community schools which emerged as a stop-gap arrangement during the 2016 uprising.
“Students of Kashmir are willing to talk about the conflict regardless of their political inclination. Around 44 percent of the respondents stated that student exams ended strike,” the study found.
The study concluded that all the stakeholders were concerned about the education of students. It said that many people believe education remained immune to the 2016 unrest, but it was not true, the study claimed.