Srinagar: After remaining away from schools for more than two months due to a clampdown in the Valley, students in Jammu and Kashmir are upset after the administration released the annual and semester examination date-sheets as per schedule, without any relaxation in the syllabus.
The Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) on Thursday released the date-sheets for Classes 10 and 12 – the examinations for the former will commence from October 23 and for the latter from October 30.
As per government officials, this move is aimed at “bringing normalcy to the Valley” and “saving the academic year of students”.
After the BJP-led central government in August stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into Union Territories, crippling restrictions were imposed in the Valley, with internet and phone services suspended.
While the government eased out the restrictions in the coming weeks, students did not join schools after they were opened again on August 19.
Distressed students and parents
Sadiya Jan is one of the 48,000 students of Class 12 scheduled to appear in the annual exams. But Jan, a resident of downtown area of Srinagar, is restless after learning about the date-sheet.
“I have studied only 60% of the syllabus. I cannot appear in an exam like this,” Jan tells News18.
“I have been restricted to my home since August 5. I couldn’t even attend private tuitions,” Jan says in a vexed tone, breaking down.
Jan has a genuine fear -- she believes it will not be possible for her to secure good marks in the exams, which means she cannot compete for further studies with students from outside the Valley.
“There should be relaxation in the syllabus,” she says. “Exams should commence only for half the curriculum.”
For her parents, the worry has doubled.
Jan’s father, a business man who does not wish to be identified, is worried about the safety of his only daughter.
“The situation outside is not normal. The government should ensure first that things get normal only then can our kids go out for exams,” he says.
The students and their parents are caught in a quagmire of ineptness. If their exams are not conducted on time, they will lose an academic year, but if the syllabus is not relaxed, they will not secure good marks.
No concern for students
The officials in the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) say the Governor’s advisors are adamant on holding exams.
“Everyone is aware that students have not been able to attend schools, but bureaucrats in the civil secretariat feel this is the way to get them to schools,” said a DSEK official on condition of anonymity. “There must be relaxation in the syllabus.”
Farooq Khan, advisor to Governor Satya Pal Malik, on Wednesday chaired a meeting in Srinagar and directed officials to ensure the “smooth conduct of forthcoming annual examinations of 10th, 11th and 12th classes”.
“The Advisor,” a government handout read, “directed the J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE) Chairman to work out a detailed schedule for the smooth conduct of board examinations. He emphasised the need for proper coordination between the JKBOSE authorities, police and civil administration to ensure the hassle-free examinations.”
As mobile services and internet still remain suspended, the advisor has directed police to “ensure facility of communication and transmission of urgent messages during the course of examinations”.
'Get Study Material'
Like school examinations, the administration is also gearing up for college and university exams.
As students perusing higher studies are also unable to attend colleges and universities, the administration has directed them to take study material from their respective departments to prepare for exams.
Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, advisor to the Governor, on Wednesday directed that all ensuing university examinations should commence before the onset of winter.
During a review meeting with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, and secretary of the Higher Education Department, the advisor directed “all college principals to ensure providing of study material for the uncovered portion of syllabus to the students by 15th October, 2019, so as to enable them prepare for the forthcoming examinations”, read an official handout.
Students, however, term this move as bizarre.
“Education is not about collecting notes and appearing in the exams,” said Khalid Hussain, a postgraduate student at Kashmir University, who has been unable to visit the varsity since August 5.