Kashmir unrest: Schools Set on Fire, Education is on stake
Schools in Kashmir have suffered damages
Over the past three-and-a-half months, at least one school in the Kashmir Valley’s 10 districts has either been burnt or have suffered damages in fires. Five schools have been burnt in the last five days alone and it has adversely affected education.
Officials of the directorate of school education have said that 17 government middle, high and higher secondary schools were been burnt mysteriously during the unrest. Of these, seven have also been reduced to ashes while 10 were damaged partially in the fire.
Besides the 17 government schools, two of the prominent private schools have also been damaged in fired as Kashmir has remained shut for the past 109 days since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter which took place on July 8.
Unknown ‘Miscreants’ damaging schools
Most of the schools have also been burnt in the dead of the night by an unknown ‘miscreants’. Few of them caught fire that allegedly after security forces fired tear gas shells on the protesters. But security forces have however denied allegations of tear gas shells sparking any fire.
Of the 10 districts of Kashmir, Kulgam in the south Kashmir has been the worst affected with altogether five schools either completely burnt or some partially damaged in fires. Three schools have been burnt in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Concerned teachers in the Kulgam district have now decided to further guard the schools during the nights.
Since the unrest erupted in Kashmir after Wani’s death, students have not attended schools for the past 109 days.
The government has now decided to go ahead with the exams of higher and higher secondary classes in November despite the fact that the students have not even able to cover 50% of their syllabus because they don’t want to put student’s education on stake.
The government’s insistence on holding the exams has prompted protests by the valley’s students who want the tests to be conducted in March.
The government said it was looking into various options like the introduction of more choices in question papers and reduction in the syllabus for the examinations rather than postponing them to March.
The government has also maintained that security forces would vacate these schools once the situation improves.