Schools in Kashmir re-open after Aug 5

After nearly seven months, students back to schools in Srinagar on Monday. —Excelsior/Shakeel
After nearly seven months, students back to schools in Srinagar on Monday. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Feb 24: Thousands of students today attended the schools for the first time since August 5 last year due to the situation following abrogation of Article 370 and winter vacation.
This morning, the schools were abuzz with activities as majority of the students were meeting first time since August last year. However, few schools conducted examinations last year while majority of the schools asked the students to file assignments.
“I am glad that we are back to school after a long gap. Although we appeared in the examinations last year but this is for the first time we are attending the classes”, said Zuhaib Mudasir, student of Class 5th at a private school in old city.
He said that it was very difficult to spend all these months at home. “I am excited for being back to schools among friends and classmates once again”, he said.
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Another student, Junaid Shafi, at uptown locality in Srinagar said that they are happy to be back after harsh winter and clampdown. “I was desperately waiting for schools to re-open as sitting at home was boring and frustrating. Finally there is some kind of excitement in life after 7 long months, he said.
The only time the students or their parents had visited the schools in the last few months was to either collect or submit their home assignments in the absence of any classes. “I had gone to the school a few times in November last year to collect assignments, but there were no classes. I wanted to attend the classes”, he said.
A teacher, Nusrat, hoped that students get uninterrupted education this year. “The education of the children suffered last year due to the situation in the Valley. I hope this year will be peaceful”, she said.
While the Government had made several efforts last year to re-open schools in a phased manner following the Centre’s decision to do away with Jammu and Kashmir’s special provisions, its attempts failed to bear any fruit as parents kept their wards at home due to apprehensions about their safety.
However, few schools in Srinagar opened in November last year but asked students to attend their classes without wearing school uniforms. But majority remained shut due to security concerns.
Director, school Education Kashmir, Mohammad Younis Malik urged teachers to work with dedication for building capacities of students for their better future. “It is our responsibility to extend our support to them and redouble efforts to get their syllabus completed well in time”, he said.
He has instructed field officers to visit schools regularly to monitor the follow up of academic planner for timely accomplishment of set targets.