Students return to classes as Kashmir schools reopen | KSA - Kashmir Student Alerts

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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Students return to classes as Kashmir schools reopen | KSA


Faheem Ahmad, a class 9 student in Srinagar, said he was excited to return to school. “Staying home for six months was so boring. I am so happy...”

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Students head out to attend school in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Schools in Kashmir reopened on Monday after almost seven months.(Photo by Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

Schools in the Kashmir Valley reopened on Monday after remaining mostly closed following the nullification of the Constitution’s Article 370 that stripped Jammu & Kashmir of its special status in August.

Mohammad Younis Malik, the school education director (Kashmir), said the attendence ranged from 70% to 100%. “Everybody was happy and the atmosphere was joyous,” Malik said. Private Schools’ Association president G N War said most students attended classes. “Many schools planned activities to interact with students.”

Faheem Ahmad, a class 9 student in Srinagar, said he was excited to return to school. “Staying home for six months was so boring. I am so happy...”

The government announced the reopening of educational institutes in phases last year. But students stayed away from classes first because of a communications blackout and a lockdown that were imposed to prevent protests against the nullification of Article 370 and later due to a shutdown when the curbs were eased. The government announced a winter break on December 10.

Mohammad Ishaq, the father of a 13-year-old school-going daughter, said the break was so long that the school shoes his daughter wore six months back do not fit her anymore. “She wore the shoes after months and they were hurting her. I had to rush to a footwear shop in the morning to replace her shoes. That sums up the whole story of education here,” he said.

Athar Ahmad, a teacher and an administrator at a private school in Srinagar, said he hoped the situation would continue to remain normal. “The students suffered a lot during these months. It has happened for the first time that schools remained closed for such a long period.”

Schools, colleges and universities across Kashmir Valley were closed ahead of the nullification that ended provisions that prevented non-residents from buying land and getting jobs in the region. Hundreds of politicians and activists were also detained ahead of the nullification that coincided with Jammu and Kashmir’s split into two Union territories as well. Three former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Farooq Abdullah, are among the top politicians under continued detention.