Ban on Jama’at run schools to hit education of 75,000 students

Ban on Jama’at run schools to hit education of 75,000 students
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Anantnag: The future of more than 75000 students, studying in over 350 schools run by the Falah-e-Aam Trust (the education and leisure wing of Jamaat-e-Islami) hangs in balance as the Ministry of Home Affairs has deemed JeI as an “unlawful association”.
Following the ban, which came on Thursday evening and says nothing about the Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT), efforts were made on Friday to seal these schools, starting from Bandipora district of north Kashmir.
In Ajas area of Bandipora the tehsildar made the move to seal a FAT run school-named Islamia Model High School. The school, later in day, was unsealed amid public pressure.
While the police have been maintaining that it was the jurisdiction of the district administration to take such steps the administration in Bandipora has refused to talk about the matter.
“We will talk about this later,” Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shahbaz Mirza, told Kashmir Reader.
Later in the evening, however, another school and an adjoining office in Bagh area of Bandipora were sealed by the district administration along with the police officials.
While there is still considerable doubt, whether the schools are to be sealed or not, the students and their parents, enrolled in these schools, are already worried about the future.
“My son is in class 12th and has studied all through in a FAT run school. What are we supposed to do now? The government should come clear on this. It is a matter of the future of 75000 students,” one of the parents from south Kashmir told Kashmir Reader.
This, however, is not the first time that the Jamat-e-Islami run schools have come under a cloud of uncertainty. The FAT was formed in 1971 and was the publication and social services wing of the JeI, to begin with.
In 1978 the FAT was given an additional responsibility to administer the schools and playgrounds run by the Jamaat.
In between, the JeI and its schools faced the first ever government imposed ban.
“In 1975, during the emergency, Jamaat was banned and so were the schools run by the Jamaat,” a research scholar with JeI as his field of studies, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the schools, somehow, survived but only till early 1990’s when yet another ban was imposed on the JeI and the schools run by them as well.
“This was the time when many FAT teachers were inducted into government services. Everyone thought the schools are done forever, but they weren’t,” he said.
The schools have ever since flourished despite all odds and the Ikhwan onslaught on JeI members as well as the administrators of these Jamaat run schools.
Many of these school administrators were also killed in the turbulent 90’s.
Over a period of time the number of schools has swelled up to more than 370, with over 75000 students enrolled in these institutions. Many of these schools have become Higher Secondary’s and at least one these schools holds undergraduate programs as well, in Shopian district of South Kashmir.
“In the recently declared class 10th results the FAT schools, across ten districts of Kashmir, came out with a pass percentage of around 82 per cent,” a worried parent of a FAT student told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the schools had 110 students in the first 20 positions across Kashmir.
“I am worried they might ask us to enroll our kids at government schools. They will be doomed if forced to do that,” the parent said.
While the parents and the students remain worried, the government is yet to come out with a word of relief for them.
Kashmir Reader repeatedly tried to get on quote the official spokesperson of the government, Rohit Kansal as well as advisor to the governor, Khursheed Ganai. None of them received repeated calls, however.