Students caught in a fix as closure of schools becomes a ‘routine’

The school going children across Kashmir are caught in a catch 22 situation given the frequent closure of educational institutions by the government.
The frequent orders for suspension of class work in schools and colleges have derailed the academic calendar in schools, which will have adverse impact on the performance of the students in their exams.
Interestingly, the school education department have directed the school heads to complete above 90 percent syllabus of students in their respective classes in order to be eligible for annual exams.
However, the government is contradicting its own policy by ordering frequent closure of schools.
“We are caught in a catch 22 situation. Every time students have to bear the brunt of law and order situation as authorities order for suspension of class work in schools,” said a group of students.
Interestingly, the schools had a short academic session this year from March to June month given the prevailing situation in Kashmir.
From March to the month of June, the schools witnessed lesser number of working days which has taken a toll on academic, including theory and practical classes of students in their schools.
From April 17 to June (34 days), the schools remained closed for almost 17days following the protest that erupted in wake of police action on students in Pulwama college on April 15.
Earlier the educational institutions also remained shut for over a week’s time during the parliamentary polls held in central Kashmir districts.
The schools were handed over to security forces four days ahead of polls for their accommodation and were vacated after a week’s time post elections.
During August, the government again ordered for suspension of class work in colleges and schools from primary to higher secondary level “as a precautionary measure.”
But the frequent closure of schools teachers believe is not fruitful for students who have to appear in their annual exams in the month of October.
“But the irony is that government wants us to complete above 90 percent syllabus despite witnessing such disturbances in academic calendar,” said a teacher wishing not to be identified.
Given the pressure from government to complete the syllabus within a stipulated time period, some schools in rural Kashmir have started extra classes for students of class 10 and 12 standard.
“But this is also not in favor of students as they get exhausted during the day time and cannot grasp anything during extra classes,” the teacher said.
Secretary school education department, Farooq Ahmad Shah said the department will look for means and ways to complete the syllabus in schools.
“We are aware of the situation,” he said.

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