Srinagar: After a wait of seven months, all government and private schools in the Valley are finally opening on Monday. Markets were abuzz with parents buying new uniforms, bags and books for their children. Students have expressed their hope of a smooth academic year ahead as the past months in Kashmir have been full of uncertainty, giving a setback to the education sector.
The schools in the Valley are set to open for the first time after August 5 last year. After the Centre scrapped Article 370, it imposed a strict military and communication clampdown, forcing thousands of schools across the region to close down.
Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Mohammad Younis Malik said the timing for schools under the Srinagar municipal limits would be 10 am to 3 pm and for the ones outside the limits will be 10.30 am to 3.30 pm. The schools are opening for all classes, but some private schools have decided to open the kindergarten wing from March 1.
“It’s our responsibility to redouble efforts to get the school syllabus completed in time. The field officers have been asked to visit schools regularly to monitor the follow-up of the academic planner for the timely accomplishment of the set targets,” the DSEK added. There is equal excitement among the students who are attending the schools after nearly one session.
The students this year had to go for self-evaluation at homes, given the tense situation after August 5. While the government had insisted students to attend classes, the parents kept them at home given the safety reasons as the communication was completely blocked for 72 days since last August. “We hope that we will be able to meet our friends now. We have made all preparations for the school and are excited as well,” said Fatima, a Class III student.
Basit Ahmad, 14, Class VII student, said he bought a new uniform and a school bag for the new session. “I am in a new class now and have bought new things too. I am happy that I’ll be able to meet my teachers, whom I really missed,” Basit added.
The opening of schools on time has been a major challenge for the administration and ensuring their smooth functioning is even the biggest task. The schools closed for the winter break on December 10 as the students continued to stay away from classes till then.