Low turnout on day two of reopening of schools in Valley

The attendance in schools in summer capital Srinagar was a mere 16 per cent against 28 yesterday when educational institutions across Kashmir opened after remaining shut for nearly 100 days owing to unrest in the Valley.

Only west zone of the city recorded a healthy 44 per cent attendance while others saw only nine per cent students turning up for classes.

In Ganderbal district, 41 per cent students attended classes today, marking a drop of nine per cent compared to yesterday, official sources said.

In north Kashmir's Kupwara district, the attendance fell by 12 per cent while neighbouring Baramulla district witnessed a dip of 25 per cent.

Baramulla along with Anantnag and Kulgam districts had recorded 75 per cent attendance yesterday.

On day two, Anantnag and Kulgam recorded an attendance of 63 and 40 per cent respectively, the sources said.

Bandipora was the lone district to improve upon the attendance with 67 per cent students attending classes against 50 yesterday.

Many private schools, including the Srinagar branch of the prestigious Delhi Public School (DPS), were shut today following incidents of vandalisation of buses yesterday.

At least 10 buses of DPS were damaged by protestors in in the city, school officials had said.

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who had asked parents not to send their children to schools, today said Kashmiris needed no advise from anyone about importance of education.

Reacting to Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement expressing satisfaction over reopening of schools in Kashmir, he said "Kashmiris are fully aware of their interests and losses and need no advise from anyone about the importance of education."

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