An Open Letter To Education Minister Naeem Akhtar From 12th Class Students

Original Text

We are really sad to be saying this, but you and your government has disappointed us deeply.
Honestly speaking, when you became the education minister, your statements ignited  hope in us; the hope that our Education department will improve. Your statements were always student-friendly, but now it has turned out that they were only ‘statements’. You have proved to be just like any other ‘education’ minister that we have seen in the past, may be even worse.
We are writing this letter to you in a last desperate attempt to get you to understand our point of view and then decide about our exams accordingly. We have tried everything Sir; from protesting peacefully on the streets to sending articles to newspapers and approaching the authorities; EVERY SINGLE THING, to get our point across, which after all is a valid point, if you think about it.
Please consider yourself in our situation: You are in class 12; this class will decide your future, you go to school for barely 3 months, Burhan Wani is killed and Kashmir is on boil; 90 people are killed, thousands injured, maimed and blinded; some of your age too; some even younger, you’re traumatised, you try studying because you know you have to, you hear slogans being shouted on speakers, you see protests, you hear the sounds of bullets, sometimes suddenly everyone in your house starts coughing, your throat feels dry; you know pepper gas has been sprayed, you hear of people and  even kids being arrested everyday & so so many more things- this goes on for 3 months. In the meantime, you had tried to study, but could you study amidst all this? Of course your attempts didn’t all go in vain, you did study a little, but sir, you have to appear in your 12th Board Exams. The Education Minister says that you won’t get any sort of concession, you just have to appear in the exams for the full syllabus. What would you do?
Sir, we have done every possible thing that we could do to tell the authorities about our awful situation, but they have given a cold shoulder to all our pleas.
In this last attempt, we’d like to appeal to you, sir, to please give us some sort of relaxation in the exams. We’re not telling you that we won’t appear in the exams till we get Azadi, no, we will study and get educated and fight for our rights; but the fact remains that when you say you are ‘concerned’ about our future, you forget that Insha is one of us too. She wanted to become a doctor. She has been blinded forever.
At this point of time, our request to you is just this; Please be a little considerate of the situation in which we’ve had to ‘study’, less than 50% of our syllabus has been completed at our schools and tutions, and this is 12th class that we’re talking about, not just any other class where the syllabus isn’t this vast and where your marks don’t have the power to decide your future; it wouldn’t matter if you got 50%- you passed and nothing’s wrong.
You said you wouldn’t reduce the syllabus as we have to appear in ‘competitive exams’, but sir, if we are asked to appear in board exams with full syllabus without having been taught less than half of it, we won’t be in a position to even fill the forms of those competitive exams as there’s a certain good percentage of marks that is required to be eligible for them.
This pressure and stress is taking a toll on our health now.
We hope that you consider our request.