All government schools along the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir will reopen on Tuesday, the state government said on Monday.
More than 400 schools along the border in Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts will start functioning from Tuesday, divisional commissioner of Jammu region Dr Pawan Kotwal told Hindustan Times.
“Pakistan had been targeting civilian areas and that is why the schools were shut but for the past over a week, some normalcy has returned to the border areas. Therefore, keeping in view academic loss of children, the government has decided to reopen all the schools along the IB and the LoC,” a home department official said.
The state government on November 1 had ordered closure of government schools in the border areas over repeated shelling and firing from Pakistan. As many as 174 schools in Jammu district, 84 in Balakote sector of Poonch district, and 45 schools in Samba district were closed since then.
The government is keeping a close watch on the situation, the source said about the possibility of Pakistan again targeting civilian areas.
Pakistan has been violating the ceasefire agreement with impunity since the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LoC on September 29.
The surgical strikes were India’s response to a terrorist attack on the Uri air base on September 18, a couple of months after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter, resulting in mass protests in the Kashmir Valley. As many as 37 schools were torched during the unrest.
Following political debates over holding exams in either November or March, the state government in an unprecedented decision decided to hold the Class 10 and 12 board exams twice — in November with 50% syllabus and in March with the full syllabus for students who fail to appear this time.
However, according to the data provided by the Directorate of School Education, out of total 126,593 students, 105,719 students (over 80%) opted to appear in this month’s exams.
Some 48,000 students appeared for the Class 12 exams at 484 centres on Monday, and more than 55,000 will take the Class 10 exams from Tuesday.