By AASIF WANI
The Student community is the severely combustible community of Kashmir that catches flames of every controversy and becomes first the casualty. The future and the nation builders is the title, given to them but on this pathetic piece of land, they are used as money minting machines. They are flung, exploited, and brutalized. The political strife will persist unless the Kashmir issue is resolved but administrative malfunction, preventable otherwise, keeps on wringing them too. Despite numerous odds, Kashmiri students (primary to college level) bore through the edifices of complications and achieve success. In the chaotic and confusing circumstances, they astutely manoeuvre themselves and rise stupendously.
On the death anniversary of Afzal Gura, I remember how I managed to reach examination centre in Kashmir University, after walking more than 13 kilometres by foot, being triply charged by an auto rickshawallah, the CRPF personals manned in the city harassing me, I remember.
The situation almost remains same in Kashmir. The plight of students coming from volatile areas is unimaginable; they face it every day , in fact , worse more, and still strive to study in the nastiest state of affairs, their efforts needs to be admired. Moreover, the subsidized student fares nowhere in Kashmir are obeyed, unlike other places. Kashmir University, the highest learning institute of Kashmir has no space to accommodate, even half of its students and the rent of private apartments available around have no price regulation ; proprietors charge students on their caprice, fee keeps on increasing and quality education decreasing, and lastly internet gags making the struggle little tougher. Apart from the martial and other mentioned hurdles in the conflict torn vale, the administrators and some teachers congeal their voyages as well. In the tenth standard, if the result in any subject is poor, the concerned teacher’s increment is held. The Golden test (taken before board exams), the students are filtered over the performance in the test; those with weak performance are left behind and not allowed to appear in regular exams.
Making sure that the increment is not stopped; teachers amuse us by resorting to absolutely appalling and un-empathetic acts. Few bucks force teachers to contempt their noble profession and ruin the career of students, whom they are spiritual fathers ; instead of taking extra classes and doing more work on weak students, they (students) are plucked out and estranged from other mates. This flawed procedure of assessing aptitude, has ended up in doing the mass genocide of budding talents.
According to the statute, weak performance in golden test cannot be the ground for restraining any student from appearing in annual regular exam. The spiky streets keep on stretching miles further, venting the mental harmony of students. The current power outages in the valley, when both 10th and 12th class board exams are going on is akin to snatching their eyesight. The reason of rising dropout rate in the Kashmir is financially vulnerability; not every student can afford to have lighting kits; it is not possible for them to study from evening to morning. Indeed, it has halted their preparations and made them more susceptible. The quirk of fate is that the place, which supplies electricity to other states, is languishing in prolonged darkness.
The situation in Kashmir keeps calendar at bay. The complete educational year is sometimes sliced down to the month and exams take place without completion of syllabus. Students never get the sufficient time to prepare. The degrees are delayed ; it takes extra years to complete the degree of otherwise short span. Financially sound students prefer to enrol themselves outside the valley.
Kashmiri students cope with the worst transport system, regular power outages, and other numerous problems. Despite the persisting instability and the administrative insufficiency, in the valley, they heroically defeat, whatever comes into their way. At every tip, their patience is tested but they do not give in.
—The author is the working president All J&K Students Union (AJKSU). He is a student of law and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org