Despite Govt Order No Schools Reopen in 4 Districts

Srinagar: On the 13th day of stringent curfew across Kashmir, the state government Thursday contradicted police handout –claiming that schools have reopened in the restive Valley – which is starving for want of essentials in the ongoing humanitarian crises.

On one hand it was police saying that there was no relaxation in curfew anywhere across Kashmir whereas later in the day Education Department said schools reopened today.

In a special bulletin at around 1:30 PM a police handout said: “There will be no relaxation in curfew and restrictions across the Kashmir Valley. The curfew and restrictions will remain strictly in place throughout the day till further orders.”

But in the evening, the official handout of Commissioner Secretary Education Shaleen Kabra had a different story to narrate.

“According to Commission(er) Secretary School Education, Shaleen Kabra, schools in some districts of the valley and winter zone of Jammu division opened today after summer vacation,” said an official handout.

Kabra said there was no curfew but that the hartal call resulted in thin attendance at schools. “In rural areas where staff is mostly local, the schools witnessed moderate attendance while in semi -urban centres, restricted movements due to bandh calls resulted in thin attendance in the schools,” Kabra said.

“It is pertinent that schools in the valley had not observed any break since March 2015 on reopening after the floods till the summer vacations from 1st July 2016 were announced as even during winter months, tuitions were conducted for students with active participation of teachers. Super 50 Tuitions Centres proved useful for meritorious students,” Kabra added in the handout.

“The current academic session too has seen intense educational activity by the teachers in achieving minimum learning levels and imparting quality education to substantially improve results. With community demanding better and more conducive environment for children, it is expected that the schools will resume proper functioning shortly,” Kabra added.

The state government is already facing public fury for “ridiculous” diktat over reopening of schools in four districts of Kashmir when the Valley continues to reel under strict curfew and people cry for want of essentials.

Officials said it was for the first time in the history of Kashmir that government had reopened schools ahead of lifting of curfew. However there was no  announcement from the government as to what would be deemed as curfew passes for the schoolchildren or staff.

At least 44 people have died and over 2500 lie wounded in street protests since July 8 when Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed.

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