Locked-in Kashmir students not ready for board exams

Photo for representation.

With authorities in Kashmir deciding to hold class 10 and class 12 board exams from last week of October, anxious students cite incomplete syllabus as the reason for their non-readiness to face exams.

All the educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities, across Kashmir are shut since August 5, when the central government repealed the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories.

However, the government on Thursday issued date sheets with examinations for class 10th starting from October 29 and class 12 from October 30.  But students say they have not completed the syllabus due to the continuous closure of educational institutions.

“We are in a fix and don’t know how to prepare for the exams. We couldn’t attend classes for the last more than two months and it won’t be possible for us to appear in the examination that too in a short span of time,” said Faiq Dar, a class 12th student.

He requested the government to postpone the exams until the syllabus is completed. “Officially higher secondary schools in Kashmir reopened on October 3. Why did government not bother to open these schools before that, if they had decided to hold exams on time,” Dar asked. 

Rabia Akhtar, a 10th class student said passing the qualifying examination was not enough in today’s competitive world, “but better grades matter.”

“Students in Kashmir are becoming victims of political uncertainty, which is unfortunate. It is not the first time that our studies have been badly affected due to strikes, curfews and uncertainty. It has become a norm,” she rued.

However, an official of Board of School Education (BOSE) said the decision to hold exams was taken after a lot of deliberations with the stakeholders. “The classwork had started in March only and till August 80% of the syllabus had been completed. If exams are not held on time, a precious year of thousands of students will be wasted,” he said.

The board exams were held in 2010 and 2016 under similar circumstances when Kashmir remained shut for months together.

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