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Students stay away from schools, colleges; exams likely from last week of Oct

Despite unprecedented security arrangements to maintain law and order, authorities could not instill confidence among the parents to send their children to schools and colleges in Kashmir valley, where people are protesting against scrapping of Article 370 on August 5.

Students continued to stay from their classes even after authorities announced reopening of primary, high, Higher Secondary Schools (HSS) and now colleges in a phased manner in the valley.

However, the authorities have ruled out mass promotion or relaxation in syllabus for students in the valley, where examination for class 10th and class 12th is likely to start from last week of October.

Kashmir University Vice Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad on Wednesday informed Governor Satya Pal Malik about schedules of various professional and non-professional examinations to be held by the university in this academic year. The Kashmir University (KU), Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Central University Kashmir (CUK) and Cluster university remained closed since August 5.

Prof Ahmad briefed Mr Malik about various administrative and academic issues of importance and informed about the schedules of various professional and non-professional examinations to be conducted by the University in this academic year.

Even though colleges were reopening in the valley on Wednesday, majority of these educational institutes remained deserted on Thursday with only teaching and supporting staff present. Only teaching and supporting staff was present in Amar Singh College, S P College and Women’s College MA road in the city. Islamia College and Nowakadal women’s college in downtown Srinagar were also deserted while teachers were waiting for students on the second successive day of reopening of colleges after 65 days.

Similar reports were coming from other parts of the valley, where gag on communication continued for the 67th day on Thursday.

Advisor to Governor, Farooq Khan, on Wednesday chaired a meeting to review the preparedness for the smooth conduct of annual examinations of Class 10 and Class 12 in the valley. During the meeting, Mr Khan emphasised the need for complete synergy between J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE), police and civil administration for smooth conduct of the examinations.

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

Students of HSSs, which were reopened on October 3 after remaining shut since August 5, also stayed away from classes while primary, middle and high schools also gave a deserted look over a month after they were reopened.

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.

”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. Later, the authorities ordered reopening of HSSs from October 3 and college from Wednesday. However, almost all schools and colleges in Srinagar wore a deserted look though teachers and other staff attended their respective institutions. Private schools also remained closed.

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.  (UNI)