School students continue to be victims in Kashmir (as we had mentioned in one of our earlier posts). Schools being open has become a rarity in the last half year. However, one school in Srinagar remains determined to make an impact and continue to impart education. Sarfi Memorial Institute has decided to remain functioning through the curfews and the terrorist / separatist called shutdowns.
The school has been advertising on local TV channels and newspapers that it would provide education through extended periods of turmoil. "We have decided to have lodging and boarding facilities in the same building where classes will be organised. In the past, we gave priority to quality teachers. This time, we recruited four teachers only on the promise that they would work during nights and stay here," Muhammad Ashraf, the administrator of the institute mentioned. Sarfi Memorial Institute has constructed a new 60-room building with classrooms with residential facilities. The school is receiving a large number of queries from parents on how the school would run during curfew and street protests.
Since March of this year, attendance at schools has dropped, particularly in separatist-dominated areas (including the capital city of Srinagar) since parents refrain from sending their children out of homes for fear of violence on days of curfew or shutdowns.
The state government is starting to respond to the educational needs of students who could not attend classes this summer by reducing the annual syllabus for board exams and plans to organise post-examination classes on lessons and chapters dropped from the syllabus.
J&K has been a hot bed of political activity, terrorism, separatism, 'ethnicide' and what have you. The activities in the state continue to orphan children and widow women. It continues to be a drain on the system for the rest of the country, thanks to our rogue neighboring nation.
What is more disconcerting than anything else is what this turmoil is doing to the children in the valley. Not just psychologically, but even in terms of education. It does not get talked about much, but we picked up something when we started doing research for KOOLSKOOL. We were looking through circulars issued at DPS, Srinagar and found that more often than not the school had used Friday as the weekly holiday instead of Sunday. A little more digging told us that DPS, Srinagar is not an exception.
Some schools are already trying to get their senior students transferred to schools in Delhi, including the DPS group to prevent loss of year for at least the senior secondary students.
Newspapers reported today the opening of schools after a gap of 100 days. School buses and other transport ferrying children and school staff are being allowed through. Government schools are starting to open up and the private schools will watch a bit and then open. It is appalling that a movement (of whatever nature) cares so little for its own children and future. Destroying education can't possibly help the Kashmiri people.