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Caught in unrest, Kashmir schools teach online

Continuous closure of schools due to separatists’ shutdowns and curfew has forced schools in Kashmir to adopt the e-studies method to complete syllabus and prepare students for the upcoming examinations.

india Updated: Jul 16, 2010 11:35 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Continuous closure of schools due to separatists’ shutdowns and curfew has forced schools in Kashmir to adopt the e-studies method to complete syllabus and prepare students for the upcoming examinations.

Many schools have urged parents to hire teachers in their localities and prepare students on their own for the exams.

The Valley’s reputed school Tyndale Biscoe issued a notification on Thursday asking parents to collect home assignments for pupils from the school on Monday; the school remained shut for more than a month now due to the unrest triggered by killing of a school-boy Tufail Ahmad Mattto (17) on June 11 in Srinagar that further sparked off a spate of protests leaving 15 civilian dead in security forces’ action in Kashmir.

“We have been asked to collect homework so that wards can prepare for the term examination scheduled for August,” said Javaid Ahmad Bukhari, father of Akeel Bukhari, a Class 6th student at Tyndale Biscoe.

Akeel has not been to school for more than a month like most of the Valley students. “I fail to understand how I will complete the syllabus. Who will teach me, check my home work? I am confused,” Akeel told the Hindustan Times.

The Delhi Public School has uploaded lessons and assignments on its website asking students to complete and submit them once the school re-opens.

“At least 70 per cent of the students in the school have access to the Internet.

We don’t want student community to suffer,” said Muhammad Ashraf, a teacher at the DPS. For students’ board examinations, tutorials and reference materials have been uploaded by the school.

One of the schools in old Srinagar has pasted a notice on school wall saying: “Keeping in view the prevailing situation in the state, all the students of this institution are instructed to continue completion of U3 portion of syllabus at home…In case of any difficulty, you may contact your subject and/ or form teachers, if available locally. Work should be done on school subject copies.”

Most of the schools have asked parents to seek help from their tutors, siblings, cousin etc in the family.

In 1990-91, similar kinds of shutdowns and curfews force school authorities to remain shut for more than four months and the students were given mass promotions that year.

The state government has failed to do anything practically to help the students so far. “Special classes and extra classes will be organized to complete the loss of the academic session,” said state Minister for Education and Public Enterprises Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed.

He asked students to attend schools regularly and devote their time for studies “so that they are able to complete their syllabus and compete with the others”.

The minister’s statement, however, has failed to have any impact as most of the Valley schools continue to be closed due to separatists’ shutdown calls, putting career of thousands of students at risk.

Most of university examinations, school tests and public service interviews have either put on hold or postponed due to prevailing situation in Kashmir, which shows no signs of improvement. A complete shutdown was observed on Thursday too in the entire Kashmir and there is a similar shutdown call for Friday.

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