Curfew was relaxed on Sunday in Srinagar and other major towns of Jammu and Kashmir and the authorities started making preparations for re-opening educational institutions from Monday and conducting the annual examinations. The institutions were shut for over three months owing to strikes and curfew.
Even as hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani had given a relaxation of two days — Saturday and Sunday — in his “protest calendar” and asked people to work normally, the government imposed curfew to break his writ. On Sunday, however, curfew relaxation began a little earlier and it was extended to all areas in a phased manner. “No major untoward incident took place during this period,” a police spokesman said.
The State government has released the date-sheet for examinations for four classes. “We have formulated a plan to reopen all the schools in the rural as well as urban areas, including Srinagar city, from tomorrow [Monday],” Education Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed said at a news conference here.
He had asked officials to ensure that students did not lose a precious academic year due to the unrest. “We will take the necessary steps. Transport facility will be provided to the staff on 11 routes in the city and identity cards of the teaching and non-teaching staff will be treated as curfew passes,” the Minister said.
Appeal to parents
He appealed to parents to send their wards to school as the annual examinations for all the classes, including Secondary and Senior Secondary, will be held in time.
“Examinations will be held in time but in case any student is not able to appear on the given date due to disturbance or violence, a re-examination will be held at a later date,” he noted.
Asked about the possibility of trouble erupting in these institutions as those taking part in protests belong to this age group, he said: “We will try to do our best to ensure that everything goes smoothly.”
Mr. Geelani, on the other hand, asked parents not to send their wards to school on Monday and appealed them to join the complete strike programme. He termed it a “drama” by the State government which, he alleged, had no concern for students' lives or their career.
“Most of those killed in three months are students and how can the government claim that it was concerned about them,” he said.
Keywords: Kashmir education