In 18 months, Kashmiri students attend schools for less than a month

Srinagar: With the announcement of winter vacation from December 21, students of Kashmir have attended schools for less than a month in 18 months.

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday announced winter vacations from December 21 in all schools up to Class 12 in the valley and in winter zone areas of the Jammu division.

As per an order issued by School Education Department Secretary B K Singh, winter vacation for all government educational institutions and recognised private schools up to the higher secondary level in the Kashmir division and in winter zone areas of Jammu division will be from December 21 to February 28.

In another order, the government modified its order regarding online classes, underling that the same will be voluntary in nature for both for teachers and students.

With the accouchement of winter vacation, the students in Kashmir have attended classes for less than a month in 18 months since August 5 last year.

“Students attended classes for less than a month since August 5, 2019. There has been huge loss to students community,” an official of education department told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

Last year 100 days of class work were lost due to the unprecedented situation post abrogation of article 370.

In 2020, the students witnessed less than a month of class work in schools.

Meanwhile, amid COVID-19, hundreds of youth in Kashmir have started open air schools or community schools to compensate the losses to the students.

Asked about the purpose of community school, a youth who has started community school in Baramulla replied, “Students have faced immense losses since last year in Kashmir. The purpose of setting up community school is to compensate for losses that students faced since last year.”

He believes a teacher student relationship can be best established when they interact face to face whether in class room or open air unlike online classes. “Education is not limited to syllabus but daily interactions improve the skills of students and equally help teachers to grow.”

The schools in Kashmir had opened after a gap of over six months in February this year when they were shut in August last year with the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

In March, the schools were again closed down as part of the lockdown announcement to thwart the spread of global pandemic Covid-19.

Teaching he said was a challenging task for teachers in Kashmir especially for the last 16 months.

“Educational institutions often remain shut in Kashmir due to turmoil or now pandemic. It becomes very difficult to recover losses and bring children back on track.”

Authorities have directed schools to start online classes for students. However, students are not able to study online in Kashmir due to 2G internet speed in Kashmir. (KINS)