Srinagar, Apr 30: Students in Kashmir are finding it hard to withstand the pressure as the prevailing circumstances have a put a question mark on their academic careers.
The education institutions in Kashmir have been shut since August 5, 2019, when the Government of India (GoI) announced its decision to revoke J&K’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. The schools and colleges did reopen for a few days in March this year but were closed again after the outbreak of COVID-19.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “It appears that educational institutions may remain closed for some more time as COVID-19 positive cases are being reported daily in Kashmir. Possibilities about lockdown being lifted look bleak.”
He said, “The online classes started by various schools and colleges have not been able to act as a bridge between the students and teachers due to internet speed being slow. The televised classes which were announced recently by the Education Department are unlikely to make much impact as there is no direct interaction between the students and the teachers.”
It’s in place to mention here that the schools, colleges and universities have not been able to implement the annual academic calendar for the past one year.
An observer said, “Restrictions followed by a prolonged shutdown after August 5, 2019, arrival of winter and outbreak of COVID-19 have turned the academic calendar in Kashmir upside down.”
Referring to the fresh guidelines which were issued by the University Grants Commission on Wednesday, the observer said, “The academic plan announced by the UGC can become applicable in the places where the activities were hit only by the COVID-19. It’s difficult to implement this calendar in Kashmir where the academic activities stopped 9-months ago.”
He said that the restoration of highspeed internet in Kashmir looks impossible as the Jammu and Kashmir administration recently informed the court that 4G services cannot be restored due to the security reasons. “Students in Kashmir will have to manage their online classes with the 2G speed till schools and colleges reopen. Education institutions in Kashmir need to give some breathing space to the students rather than rushing into exams and tests. Students need to be given sometime to settle down so that their confidence is restored.”
Another analyst said that after the COVID-19 lockdown ends we will be stepping into an entirely different world. “Let’s wait and watch for the things to shape up. We should not put pressure on our children and wait for situation to normalize,” he added.