FAHEEM UL ISLAM
In India almost every educational institution has been closed and the government has announced online education, urging students and teachers to remain in touch with each other through phones and internet. I want to ask this government where was your online educational policy when there were no schools open in Kashmir for 7 months? When 1.5 million students could not travel to their schools? When students were not even able to contact their relatives because of the communication blackout? What measures did you take to secure the future of those students who may have dreamt of becoming philosophers and scholars? What about the future of those students who were the toppers in their class?
Students here were totally out of touch with their teachers. More than half of their academic year was ruined because of you. They felt mentally tortured and were not able to remember when they last did their homework and sat in exams. But the government conducted exams just to show normalcy and to suggest that students were enjoying their exams!
I want to ask this government, is this you call democracy? You said we are an integral part of the country but you put our future in darkness! You give special leave to teachers in these times of coronavirus, but what about those teachers who were the only bread-earners of their families and were working in private institutions? What happened to their salaries when the schools were closed for 7 months? What about those students who were preparing for competitive exams and were using internet for study?
Are they not students who are studying in Kashmir? The students were just wandering from here and there in the 7 months of lockdown. So, for them to be well-wishers of the government, the government should also be well-wishers of them. I would like to say that for the peace and prosperity of the nation, the government should think about education not just during times of national crisis but also during times of regional crisis. The students should be given all help to continue their education. The government should immediately make available high-speed internet in Kashmir so that people in general not only get information about COVID-19 but also the students here can continue their study.
—The writer is studying for a bachelor’s in political science at AMU