Why is Govt Frequently Shutting Down Schools

Educational Institutions are asset of modern societies. They promote economic growth, through the acquisition of technical and skill based knowledge. Moreever, educational opportunities have profound effect on individual life chances and attainment.

While the sweeping Internet sensorship and curbs loom over the Kashmir frequently, making students to suffer, the government sponsored shutdown of educational institutions seems to be the latest addition in the misery of the student community. Everytime a civilian or militant killings takes place in any part of the valley, the education department issues a diktat of closing down schools, colleges and universities. The most affected part is downtown area of Srinagar, where the restrictions imposed by government forces shut the schools and colleges litterally at a drop of hat. The students of Kashmir’s largest and heighest learning institution, Kashmir University’s main campus located at Hazratbal are the worst sufferers. The students have to cross downtown routes to reach the university. Each time they are stopped by government forces on duty. Thousands of parents and students are in constant agony.

In Kashmir, educational institutions have remained shut down on 60 percent of working days since July 2016 (FirstPost, May 30, 2017). The government then blamed resistance leadership for their decision. The schools and colleges remained shut for more than five months in 2016 and the board exams were later held in November, with fifty percent syllabus relaxation.

The government each time justifies the order by making the lame excuses by calling it a ‘precautionary measure’. Well, it may allow the frayed tempers to cool down, but how long? Can we let the simmering political turmoil in Kashmir also rob our children of education? The answer is no. No prudent society will allow it to happen. The frequent shut down of educational institutions by the aurthorities is a tragedy of cataclysmic proportions. The indifferent rulers here are ruining the future of our children.

On May 4, 2018, state government came with a ‘new academic calendar’ to make up for the lost time of students, that was consumed by ‘hartal calendar’ of resistance leadership. The Kashmir education department came up with ‘an academic calendar’ to offset any loss of academic activities due to ‘unforseen circumstances’ or law and order issues. It was informed to public, that the educational department is going to keep schools open on subsequent holidays. Furthermore, it was said, by this very decision, the standard of education will improve and minimum attendance of classwork won’t be compromised. It now seems they are undoing that gain by again resorting to frequent shutting down of these institutions.

Abrar Reyaz

Student of Law

Central University of Kashmir

[email protected]



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