Irreversible loss' to Kashmir students due to unrest: Economic survey

Jammu
10 Jan 2017

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 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. (PTI)