Amid Communication Gag, Education Remains Worst Hit 

SRINAGAR - Education was the worst hit sector during the 58-day-long strike in Kashmir valley, where divisional authorities have now announced to reopen all Higher Secondary Schools (HSSs) from Wednesday though students of lower classes continued to stay away from their schools.

The state government ordered closure of all educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, when centre scrapped Article 370 and 35 A, besides divided the state into two Union Territories—Ladakh region and Jammu and Kashmir.

The decision evoked sharp reaction from mainstream political party leaders, including three former chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah, MP, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- who were put under house arrest or detained in jails. The authorities also snapped mobile and internet service of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) from August 5.

Schools and colleges were reopened in Jammu and Ladakh regions in a phased manner. However, educational institutions remained closed in Kashmir valley, where parents were also not ready to send their children to schools.

Later, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan announced reopening of upto primary schools followed by middle and High Schools. However, there was no response from the students, who stayed away. Parents, fearing trouble, said until communication was restored they will not sent their children to schools.

Meanwhile, different private educational institutions have announced fresh admission for lower classes in the valley, where the private schools have also provided all study material and video lessons to students on Pen-Drives and photo copies to prepare for examinations.

Even though students from lower classes did not attend their classes, Khan announced to reopen all HSSs from Thursday in the valley, where shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads.

He also directed authorities to finalize all the modalities for opening schools and colleges in coordination with district administration across Kashmir Division. “Medical Colleges and Dental College are already functioning smoothly and their Students are appearing in Exams without any inconvenience,” he added.

Meanwhile, Khan also directed all Deputy Commissioners and Director School Education to ensure that no tuition and bus fee shall be charged from students of government as well as private schools during closed days of August and September months.

“If any educational institution is found indulging this practice, heavy course of penalty shall be charged besides registration of such educational institution would be cancelled,” he said, stressing concerned to implement the directions in letter and spirit across the valley.

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. (Agencies)

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