Grappling to reopen classes amidst curfew and separatist shutdowns, the Delhi Public School (DPS) in the Kashmir Valley has decided to keep its schools open on Sundays to make up for the lost classes and to conduct year-end examination due this month.
A DPS communique to parents on Saturday said it would hold classes on Sunday. "The DPS is among very few schools in Kashmir Valley that follow the CBSE calendar and holds final exams in March instead of December like other schools here. But half of March, which is crucial for DPS students, is already marred by curfews and shutdowns," said Javeed Ahmad, a parent.
Several schools in the Valley are mulling to hold classes on Sundays because there are several days of shutdowns and protests every week according to separatists weekly agitation calendar.
Kashmir is on the edge since the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 9. Since then, normal life resumed only for a week in the valley with most days consumed by street protests, curfew and separatists' shutdowns.
Schools, which reopened after the winter break on March 11, only saw a couple of working days, with protests and separatists' shutdown calendar seem unending.
Several private schools in north and south Kashmir on Saturday informed students not to attend classes. "We decided not to hold classes. The move was made because Hurriyat leaders had asked students to lodge protests in their campuses. Holding classes would have vitiated atmosphere. We did not want to risk the lives of our students," said a principal of a private school in south Kashmir on the condition of anonymity.
The Joint Advisory Council, a conglomerate of separatist groups formed to pressurise the centre to return remains of Guru and JKLF founder Maqbool Bhat, had asked students to carry out protest procession in their colleges and schools on Saturday.
Security was also beefed up outside degree colleges in the valley to keep protesters at bay.
The Kashmir University administration only allowed students with valid identity cards to enter the campus. A tight vigil was maintained on them. The varsity had to postpone around a dozen examination dates in the wake of curfew and shutdowns since the hanging.