With the J-K government undecided on reopening of schools after the devastating floods that hit the Srinagar city and other parts of Kashmir Valley, future of thousands of students enrolled in various private and government schools in the city hangs in balance.
Valley’s elite schools including Burn-Hall, Presentation Convent, Tyndale Biscoe, Iqbal Memorial and Delhi Public School are still closed and with no direction from the government, students are in dilemma. The state government had already postponed the 10th and 12th standard examinations after the flood marooned the Srinagar city.
Junaid Ahmad, 18, a 12th standard student form Tyndale Biscoe School in Srinagar says that the career of thousands of students is at stake. “Government should do something about our education,” he said. “Our exams are approaching and many of the students don’t even have books as they were washed away by the flood waters.”
Even though water level has receded, the process of cleaning the major schools in the city is yet to be started. The Lower primary department (LPD) of the Burn Hall School — one of the few Christian Missionary schools in Kashmir is still covered in mud and slush.
On Monday, Private Schools United Front (PSUF) — a body of private schools in Kashmir — said that schools have incurred a loss of around Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crores in the floods. “There is no clear direction to the private schools what to do,” G N Var, General Secretary of PSUF said. “In next two days if government will not come with the directions, we will issue our own directions.”
Students of the Burn Hall School say that they have heard that hundreds of their practical copies of 10 standard to be shown in the upcoming board examination are lost in the flood. The students say that they are now confused about the exams and commencement of classes.
“One of my teacher informed me that my practical copy that I had submitted to the school is washed away by the flood water,” Irfan Ahmad, a student said. “I am worried about my exams now.”
Director School Education Kashmir Tariq Ali told The Indian Express that the school administration would have to get a clearance certificate from Roads & Building Department to start the classes. “Safety of the students is the first priority,” he said. “Many schools have been reopened after the floods have got the clearance certificate from the concern department.”