Kashmir schools, colleges saw less than 100 academic days in 2019
In the academic year 2019, schools and colleges in Kashmir witnessed less than 100 academic days.
The number of working days is at least around 50 percent less than prescribed by the Education department.
According to the officials of the Education department, the educational institutes should remain functional for at least 180 days in an academic year.
However, in the year 2019 less than 100 academic days were held in the educational establishments.
In the beginning of the academic year, the schools and colleges remained closed till March 15 and reopened on March 16 following than more than three month winter vacation from December 6, 2018 to March 15, 2019.
Director Colleges Yaseen Ahmad Shah said class work in the colleges started from mid March and was going on smoothly until July-end.
“Till July, the academic activities were going on normally, but since August 5, when the authorities scrapped Article 370, no academic activity was held for over two months,” Shah said. “Year 2019 witnessed thin academics in colleges but we soon started to prepare students for exams.”
To compensate the academic loses, Shah said, to save the academic year of the students, they provided students with study material and other relevant stuff.
Besides the strikes and uncertainty, the educational institutes in Kashmir valley in 2019 also witnessed at least 10 public holidays, 21 Sundays, 10 days of summer vacations and 70 days of winter vacations.
Officials said 90 percent of academic activities could not happen after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
“Initially, for at least two months, no academic activity was held. However, many educational establishments remained open. Ironically, very thin attendance of students was witnessed after August 5. Then the educational authorities began preparations for exams,” an official said.
In the meantime, Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), Muhammad Younis Malik said, “We provided students study material and to compensate the losses, some lectures were also given to the students.”
In the last week of August, J&K government said the high schools in Kashmir would reopen after remaining shut for more than three weeks since August 5.
Earlier in the same month, the government said more than 190 primary schools in Srinagar would function normally.
Gradually, the government ordered reopening of higher secondary schools and colleges as well.
While the schools continued to remain deserted following the abrogation of Article 370, the management of various schools started asking students through advertisements to collect video lessons and assignments.
Similarly, elementary and higher education classes of almost all schools was in shambles post abrogation of the Article 370 as the students did not turn up.
A month after the abrogation of Article 370, local volunteers established a community school for local and non-local students that provided a respite to them to secure their academic year.
As Kashmir valley was reeling under communication lockdown, students remained apprehensive about their future due to unavailability of communication channels to fetch study material.
Four hundred Kashmiri students could not fetch admissions outside the Valley due to communication gag imposed by the Government of India in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
Term end examinations of most of the elementary classes were held under the guidance of the parents of the students.