Apathy towards Kargil

Declare the results of Kargil district together with Kashmir

The Education Minister of the state seemed quite busy this past week.

Apathy towards KargilThe Minister was busy sending congratulatory messages, sometimes making personal visits, to the meritorious students of the high school and higher secondary schools soon after its results were been declared by the Jammu & Kashmir State Board of School Education.

The pages of the print media, last week, were also flooded with congratulatory messages by the organizations and trustees of different schools for the meritorious students. Amidst this celebratory season, however, the students in Kargil kept on waiting for their results to be declared in despair.

The usual routine of Annual Examinations of both class 10th and 12th is October-November (Winter Zone) every year in Kashmir Division.

Though, the examinations were held in March-April this year due to the devastating floods of September last year which severely affected Kashmir and its nearby areas. The Annual Examinations of Kargil district was also postponed last year to March this year. The result of Kashmir is declared yet Kargil is still waiting.

The JKBOSE is the educational body which is running the education sector of the state –from preparing syllabi to conducting exams and declaring the results. Though administratively, Ladakh (Leh and Kargil) region is affiliated with the Kashmir Division. Thus the coordination and supervision of the twelve districts of Kashmir Division (including Leh and Kargil districts) rests upon the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir. However, the district Educational Board of Kargil and Leh are under Kashmir and Jammu Division respectively.

The Jammu Division follows the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) pattern. It conducts its Annual Examinations in March (Summer Zone) and declares its results after nearly two months in May. Affiliated with Kashmir Division, the Annual Board Examinations in Kargil usually take place in the opening days of October and ends in the closing days of November. The Board Examinations in Kashmir also occur in the months of October-November.

However, the result in Kashmir gets declared after two months in January-February. On the other hand the results of Kargil districts are declared not before the end of March or April. Despite the fact that JKBOSE conducts both, it is discriminatory towards Kargil. Here the students are at the receiving end.

The students in Kargil have to wait for no less than four to five months for their results to be declared. During the long and exhausting winter vacations students flock outside of the district in search of coaching classes for the next session. Since it’s difficult to get all subject experts in Kargil, the “tuition industry” in both Kashmir and Jammu get jam packed by students from Ladakh.

Moreover, owing to the prolonged waiting for results sometimes they couldn’t decide what to do next. Also they get skeptical about the fact that whether they will satisfactorily pass the examination or not (the Board is notorious for mass failing and giving below first division marks to the majority of students). Thus their future course of work remains ambivalent. Some colleges need the senior secondary marks at the time of submission of admission forms; as a result several students from Kargil couldn’t apply there.

Therefore, in the best interest of the ‘distressed’ students of Kargil and their ‘anxious’ parents the State Board should declare the results of Kargil district together with Kashmir. This would only benefit the students of Kargil.

(Haider Ali Askary, Native of Kargil, is a Research Scholar at University of Delhi)