The education sector has been badly hit in Kashmir Valley during the five-month-long unrest, causing “irreversible loss” to students, the Economic Survey Report has said. “Due to the closure of schools, the academic session got badly hit to the extent that it caused irreversible loss of study and tuitions to the students. The exams conducted by J&K Board of Secondary Education (JKBOSE) for 10th and 12th standard students covered only 50 per cent of the total syllabus.
“However, an option has been given to the students to appear in March (for 100 per cent syllabus coverage) also,” according to the Economic Survey Report, 2016, tabled in the Assembly today.
It said 31 school buildings were gutted — 17 fully and 14 partially — during the five-month-long unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter, whereas 15 school buildings were saved by employees of education department and local community from being burnt.
In 2016, schooling could be conducted only for a period of four months in Kashmir valley, it said. The 10th class and 12th class exams held in November covered only 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the total curriculum, it said, adding that students of classes 1st to 9th had to be given mass promotion.
The exposure to violence and armed conflict reduces the quantity of education attained by children of conflict areas.
Main contributories to the lessening of attainment of quantity of education include destruction of infrastructure, fear of sending children to schools, incorporation of youth into armed groups, negative economic shocks to households and forced displacement, the report said.
The loss of 50 per cent content of the syllabus will surely have to be covered by the student community itself so that they are able to compete in ensuing entrance exams held at the national level, it said.
Around 95 per cent students have appeared in the 12th board exam and 99 per cent students have appeared in the 10th exam in the Valley and decision was taken by the government for relaxing Term-2 examination from classes 1st to 8th.
The total strength of the enrolled students in 10th and 12th classes in the Valley schools is of the order of 56,277 and 31,964, respectively, during academic session 2016. In higher education institutes, where the session started in March, class work could be conducted up to July 8 only and from July 9, the colleges have also been closed, resulting in loss of study of 130 days and more, the report said.
This has resulted in the delay in the coverage of 1st semester syllabus and also is resulting in the delayed conduct of 1st semester exams, it said, adding that hartals have also badly affected coverage of other semester studies.
Similarly, in the universities in the Valley, the class work at Master level remained badly affected. The class work in medical colleges and NIT was also affected badly, resulting in stress to students and their parents, it said.
In the academic session 2016-17, 84,811 students are enrolled in all government degree colleges in Kashmir as against the strength of 72,000 in 2015-16. The loss of studies of 130 days and more is “irreparable” and will have to be compensated through conduct of evening classes and additional classes on holidays to make the students have the knowledge in order to enable them to compete with student community at the country level, it said.
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The level of expenditure during the first two quarters of 2015-16 was of the order of Rs 26.79 crore, while expenditure during the first two quarters of financial year 2016-17 is of the order of Rs 48.43 crore, the report said.
It further said that Rs 8.98 crore has been utilised on development of infrastructure of University of Jammu, University of Kashmir, Islamic University, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University.
The prevailing turmoil and strikes in Kashmir Valley have obvious implications on the implementation of technical education programmes. The impact of strikes has been deep and profound on the educational atmosphere in the Valley, it said.
Technical education institutions/students in the valley were not able to complete their academic/practical work fully within the prescribed period, it said.
Skill-based courses require no disruption in the process in order to guarantee easy transmission of skills. The normal skill imparting process as well as new skill development initiatives got hampered due to strikes, resulting in truncation of initiatives.
This may consequently affect the formation of generation’s next workforce, the report said. The infrastructure development is a key to progress and economic development of every sector.
A good number of working days have been lost due to the prevailing strike resulting in non-creation of adequate infrastructural facilities in various institutions and slow execution of new projects/works in the valley, it said.
For proficiency and efficiency, the up-gradation of available facilities and equipment used in the teaching and learning in the technical/craft institutes, is a must.
But, due to incessant strike, action in this regard got hindered, it said. Closure of financial institutions also led to recording of low financial progress under various programmes during the period, the report said.