Parents rue govt decision to hold exams, cabinet buckles

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Oct 11, 2014 20:35 IST

The state government on Friday decided to hold examinations for class 1 to 12 despite several schools remaining shut for 38 days due to flash floods. The decision has been resented by parents of the flood-affected students. Hours after, the decision was withdrawn.

Deputy chief minister Tara Chand, who chaired a high-level meeting on Friday, announced that the annual examination for class 1 to 11 will be conducted in the last week of October.

"The exams for class 10th and 12th being conducted by the State Board of Education will be held in the first week of November," he said.

The deputy chief minister directed the concerned officers to make elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of these examinations and issue necessary date sheets.

"All the chief education officers should ensure regular classes in all the schools, especially those affected by floods. Such buildings must be inspected by the public works department," directed Chand.
The administration has been asked to provide proper sanitation, safe drinking water and adequate medical facilities in all the schools.

The government decision has come at a time when dozens of the city schools in areas of Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Tulsi Bagh, Bemina, Batamaloo, Kara Nagar remained shut for 38 days in Srinagar. Similarly, Srinagar’s top-notch schools, including Tyndale Biscoe, Presentation Convent, Delhi Public School and Burnhall failed to reopen after the floodwaters damaged their infrastructure.

Parents of the flood-affected students have rued the decision. "My two daughters are going through a mental trauma of the floods. Unlike their counterparts in other districts who completed their syllabus, they have failed to do so. How can they be at par with others? How is it possible to teach in two weeks, what has been missed in past 38 days. This is a cruel joke," said Basharat Saleem, a resident of Rajbagh, who has migrated to the old city after the floods.

The students and the parents are worried over the safety of school buildings. Public works department chief engineer SK Razdan only five days ago said that the process of declaring all schools safe in Srinagar was underway.

"Only a few reputed schools were inspected in first phase. It will take time for Srinagar schools to be checked up for safety," said Razdan last week.

However, the government has decided to go ahead with the exams of lower classes too. "Mass promotions for students from class 1 to class 9 should be announced. How can the government play with the lives and minds of the students? Has there been any assessment by the government on the mental toll of the flood trauma on students. Only exams of class 10 and 12, whose marks make eligibility of students should be conducted," said Khursheed Ahmad, a parent.

The government closed schools in Srinagar in the first week of September, four days ahead of the floods of September 6-7. The floods have come at a time when the Valley was set to conduct year-end exams in all schools and colleges.

Srinagar: Hours after declaring to hold exams, the government Friday evening withdrew the dates on which exams were to be conducted.

The official spokesman did not clarify if the exams have been cancelled or not. It has further fuelled speculation.

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