The educational institutions in the militancy-hit Kashmir after many years witnessed a smooth academic session in 2022 with no disruptions. The educational institutions in Kashmir opened after winter break in March and the academic session continued without any break till this day when the Valley is in grip of cold and night temperature has been falling below the freezing point, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.
A school principal said the academic session this year continued in the Valley without any disruptions. “There was no strike, stone pelting or curfew. And the schools had not to be closed due to any untoward incident. It was overall a smooth academic session with no interruptions or disruptions,” he said. Of the 275 days since March 2, when the educational institutions opened this year, till November end, the educational institutions witnessed 200 academic working days excluding 36 Sundays and other holidays.
According to educationists, as per CBSE, at least 220 academic working days are a must, while as per the J&K Board of School Education, a minimum of 180 academic working days is a must in an academic year. In 2016, when Kashmir witnessed agitation after Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing, only 83 academic working days had taken place. The routine academic activities this year resumed in the educational institutions in Kashmir after nearly three years.
Hit by lockdowns
The education sector was badly hit by three lockdowns since 2019. The first major lockdown was imposed on August 5, 2019, ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of J&K state into two Union Territories. The lockdown remained in force for nearly six months. The second lockdown started on March 19, 2019, after the outbreak of the first wave of Covid-19 and the third lockdown started in April last year after the outbreak of the second Covid-19 wave. Due to Covid-19 lockdowns, academic activities in the Valley had gone on online mode from offline mode as the educational institutions remained closed. President of Private Schools Association Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) Ghulam Nabi Var told TNIE that it was after years that Kashmir witnessed a smooth academic session this year. He said due to a smooth academic session, schools completed the syllabus by September. The educational institutions will now close in a phased manner for winter vacations up to February 28.
Var was apprehensive that since the academic session would start in Valley in March, there would be fewer academic working days in a year. “The exams will be conducted in March and April and the session will start in May and the educational institutions will have to be closed in December for winter break,” he said.