The unrest in Jammu and Kashmir has been going on for close to four months now. This has disrupted normal life in the valley. Children stopped going to school due to safety reasons and many schools and educational institutions were burned down. Shops have been shut down for months. Since students weren’t able to attend any classes, they are in no position to write the examinations. Most of them feared that they would lose an entire year due to the issues in the state. It was up to the government to take action in this regard.
What and How
The Jammu and Kashmir government decided that all the students in classes 5th to 9th and 11th will be promoted to higher classes regardless of their performance in the final examinations. This rule applied to all the government schools and the private ones in the state. This decision was announced today. The “No detention” policy is set to continue for this academic session. As per the policy, all students till class 8th should be promoted to the next class and should not be failed under any circumstances. Though this policy was introduced to provide compulsory education to students till the age of 14, many experts believe that this would do more harm than good. This policy will be scrapped in Jammu and Kashmir from the next academic year in 2017. It will apply to classes 5 through 9.
This ruling has come as a major relief for students who had missed over four months of classes due to the unrest in the valley. A government official also said that the 2nd term examinations for all students studying in classes 8th, 9th and 11th would be cancelled. This is again applicable to both government and private schools.
Many students and other organisations had protested against the government’s decision to conduct annual examinations as per the schedule in the month of November even though there were no classes conducted for four months. The government commenced the examinations this week. The class 10 and 12 exams started on November 14 and 15. Schools have reported an above-average attendance. The government had given a 50% relaxation in the syllabus for the exam. If students fail to attend the examinations right now, they can take it up again in March next year, but the examinations in March would have 100% of the syllabus.
Issues in the Valley
Schools in the state had declared a 2-week summer vacation on July 1, 2016. They couldn’t reopen the school after that because the unrest in the valley had started due to the killing of Burhan Wahi, a Hizbul Mujahedeen militant, on 8 July, 2016, in an encounter. It took place in the Anantnag district of Kashmir. So far, the unrest has caused the death of 86 persons, and hundreds were booked under the PSA (Public Safety Act) for participating in the protests.