The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday stopped all academic activities at the schools run by the socio-religious Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT), a body affiliated to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) that was banned in 2019.
“No admission shall be taken in these banned FAT institutions. No further registration of these institutions shall be done,” an order issued by the Lieutenant Governor’s administration said.
An official said the order was passed subsequent to the directions by the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. “All the students presently studying in these “banned” institutions shall admit themselves to nearby government schools for the current session, which is 2021-22,” it reads.
All the chief educational officers, principals and zonal educational officers have been directed to “facilitate students” and “give wide publicity in all dailies and newspapers” about these institutions not being recognised.
According to official figures, 11,000 students were studying in these schools.
An unofficial estimate suggested that the FAT has 385 schools with around one lakh students enrolled in them. However, the government has not immediately released the list of the schools it intends to ban.
The move is likely to leave thousands of teachers running these schools jobless. Earlier, the JeI was banned in 2019 but subsequently the administration had decided not to seal the schools run by its affiliate FAT.
Reacting to the move, Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone said, “Irrespective of political differences with the Jamaat, the banning of FAT is a regressive and discriminatory step. Doesn’t a Kashmiri child have the right to study where he wants. The government of the day needs to understand societal sensitivities.”