In restive Kashmir, education sector becomes first casualty | KNO

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In restive Kashmir, education sector becomes first casualty | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, May 27(KNO) : Government seems to be running out of ideas to pacify the simmering anger among the students as there is no let up in the protests. Fearing student protests, the government is frequently announcing closure of higher secondary schools and degree colleges in Valley "as a precautionary measure" to avoid law and order problem in Valley. Earlier, the government in 2016 was pressing hard to resume class work in educational institutions to come out of 5-month long summer uprising that erupted post killing of Burhan Wani. However, in 2017 the campuses erupted across Kashmir against police action on students in Pulwama College, leaving 50 students injured. The incident changed the whole scenario in Valley forcing government to change its policy. Now, the government prefers to close the educational institutions in Valley to maintain law and order situation post encounter or any civilian killing in Valley. With no let up in student protests, the government machinery is caught in a tight spot over its failure to pacify the anger among students and ensure smooth conduct of class work in schools as well colleges. “The situation is literally beyond our control. The issue will be resolved if parents will play a role and counsel their children to focus on their studies and attend their routine classes,” an official told KNO. He said the authorities fail to control the situation, particularly when students hit streets in protest. “The problem is that if we deploy police around campuses, it becomes reason of provocation and if campuses are set free students hit streets,” the official told KNO. On Monday, the higher secondary schools and colleges remained closed for the students for third consecutive day in Valley as the government suspended class work for the students in educational institutions. Earlier, the class work remained suspended in higher secondary schools and Degree Colleges "as a precautionary measure" to maintain peace in restive Kashmir. The frequent closure of schools and colleges hampers the smooth implementation of the academic calendar framed for schools and colleges. As per norms, students should get 180 working days in an academic year. However in Kashmir the educational institutions hardly get around 100 working days. “From 2017, the educational institutions are treated as hub of protests as it has become a new trend here that campuses erupt post Killing of militants or civilian in encounter," a police official told KNO. While the authorities are yet to find an alternative for closing down the educational institutions, the campuses continue to remain cause of worry for both parents and the administration. "Government should think something out of box solution to keep educational institutions away from the law and order situation. It only hampers our education scenario and proves costly for students as well," said Muhammad Abbas, a parent. An official in school education department told KNO that the decision to close schools and colleges is taken by divisional administrator in consultation with concerned deputy commissioners. "We are ourselves worried about this trend and wish it changes so that schools function smoothly," an official told KNO. A top police official told KNO that they have started counselling of students to remain away from protest and focus on their Academics in schools and colleges."Our efforts are on and are hopeful of positive results," he said. (KNO)