Students in strife-torn Kashmir are choosing to move out to states which are more peaceful to continue their education. Post the elimination of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8, the Kashmir Valley is experiencing its worst unrest in six years, and with educational institutions being burnt down or closed, students are opting to move out so that future prospects are not derailed.
Ejaz Ahmad, the owner of a career consultancy firm, said the parents of these aspiring students don’t want them to spend their academic years in an atmosphere of turmoil. “Using a government scholarship available under the Prime Minister’s (Special) Scholarship Scheme, five thousand students have been sent out. All of these were poor and meritorious students. Apart from this, comparatively less meritorious students are either taking education loans or their parents are selling their property to educate their children,” said Ahmad on Monday.
The University of Kashmir has reportedly decided to start undergraduate courses by the month end, but some students are leaving nothing to chance. “The education system here is shut. Almost the entire Kashmir is closed. If we talk about poor, they are selling their land and properties to go out. They get affected the most as they are becoming poorer,” said Tousif Ahmad, a student.
“The education system in Kashmir is completely dysfunctional. I want to pursue a Masters in Business Administration (MBA),” said Nadeem Mir, another student.
As many as 31 schools and 110 government buildings have been damaged in the Kashmir Valley since the current unrest began nearly four months ago. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of this development and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and “unmask” the culprits.