Day 57: Students Stay Away From ‘Opened’ Schools, Colleges

PTI File Pic

SRINAGAR – As the situation remained uncertain for the 57th successive day on Monday, majority of students continued to stay away from schools in Kashmir valley even as the shutdown has completed eight weeks against scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35 A, besides bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.

The educational institutes remained deserted despite administration ordering reopening of primary, middle and high schools last month.

All educational institutions, including universities, engineering and other professional colleges were closed since August 5, when the special status of the state was scrapped, evoking sharp and spontaneous reaction from the locals.

Meanwhile, some coaching centers in the valley have shifted their institutes outside the state alongwith teachers and students. The coaching centers have provided hostel facilities to the students and teachers though has further burdened the pockets of the parents at a time when economy in the valley is already under huge stress due to unrest since August 5.

Even though students continued to stay away from classes, different private educational institutions have announced fresh admission for lower classes in the valley. The private schools have also provided all study material and video lessons to students on Pen-Drives and photo copies to prepare for examinations.

Parents have expressed concerns over sending their children to schools in view of uneasy situation, coupled with a gag on communication, including mobile and internet services since August 5. “If there is any untoward incident how will we know it since there is no communication and how will the school administration inform us,” the parents said.

The administration had ordered reopening of schools and assured safety of students without actually doing anything on the ground. “We used to get phone call from school to take our children back to home in case of any law and order problem,” the parents said, adding due to communication gag how would we know about any incident.

The government had ordered reopening of primary schools from August 19 and Middle schools from August 21 followed by high schools. However, almost all schools in Srinagar wore a deserted look though 60 to 70 per cent teachers and other staff attended their respective institutions. Private schools also remained closed.

The Kashmir University (KU), Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Central University Kashmir (CUK) and Cluster university also remained closed. Students of these universities who were staying in hotels have already left for their home. The IUST has also postponed all semester examinations.

All private and government engineering and poly-technical colleges also remained closed. The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar also remained closed and students of different states have left for their homes under security on August 6.

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