After remaining closed for more than four months, Sunday was the new Monday for schools in the Kashmir valley. Hundreds of students attended classes to make up for the losses as the separatist protest calendar allows a two-day relaxation period in a week.
“Sunday is a full day of relaxation, buses remain available and students reach school without any hassles. We are also concluding the formalities of the previous session to focus on the next one now,” said Rukhsan-ul-Nisa, a senior teacher at S.S. Islamia High School at Srinagar’s Nowhatta area.
Like other educational institutions, the school remained shut in the wake of protests sparked by the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
Braving cold wave
Scores of children lined up for school buses and vans in Srinagar despite the cold wave on Sunday morning. Markets and business centres also came alive.
Leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik are spearheading the protest. Their separatist formation has already extended protest plans up to December 1 with only a two-day relaxation on Saturday and Sunday when people can resume work and open businesses the whole day.
The Private Schools Association of Kashmir (PSAK), has asked schools to ensure 100 per cent attendance of students and teachers during the relaxation period.
“Students are going through a hard phase. We have decided to help them in every possible way. Our entire staff will work overtime during the relaxation period to help the students,” said PSAK chairman G.N. Var. The association said it will ensure that schools remain open on Sundays.
This year, over 35 schools were gutted in mysterious attacks. At least ten lakh students, including 5.2 lakh male and 4.7 lakh female students, are on Directorate of School Education rolls. The State has 24,265 schools.