Kashmir shutdown continues, schools run exams 'at home'

 A group of students prepare for Class 10th board examinations, in Srinagar. (PTI Photo)

As most of the educational institutions in Kashmir have remained closed for the last almost three months due to shutdown, schools are conducting exams for students “at home” up to class 8th. 

Majority of private schools in Srinagar conducted the annual examination for primary classes by asking students to get answer transcripts done from home. Later a viva of students was also conducted at the schools.

A teacher at a leading private school in Srinagar said due to the prevailing situation they were left with no option but to conduct the exams “at home.”

“We can’t risk by asking students to attend schools and appear in exams. Instead, up to 8th class, we decided to hand over question papers and assignments to the parents and asked them to ask their kids to fill those at their respective homes,” he said.

The teacher said the decision to conduct the exams in this way was taken by the management of the school as it was a better option than mass promotion. “This type of exam has never been conducted before in the valley but the prevailing situation compelled us to go for it,” he added.

Manzoor Ahmad, a parent said the school authorities handed him over some blank answer sheets and question papers and asked to get those done by his son at home within a weeks’ time.  “It was better for the school authorities to go for a mass promotion than resorting to this mockery in the name of exams,” Ahmad said.

The government ordered closure of all educational institutions on August 5, when the Centre scrapped Articles 370 and 35A, besides bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. From third week of August, authorities made several attempts to reopen educational institutions, but the students continue to remain away from classes. However, annual board exams for class 10th and 12th, which started from October 29, are ongoing as per schedule.

The college and university authorities too have asked their students to collect study materials, including video tutorials, so that they can study at home, as students continue to remain away from classes.

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