The director school education Kashmir G N Itoo has submitted a proposal to the government, proposing that the next holiday should be deemed as the working day to make up for the academic loss in case the schools miss a working day due to forced closure of schools during strikes and shutdowns.
The proposal has been submitted to the government at a time when the government often orders suspension of class work in educational institutions “as a precautionary measure” to avoid student protests. “When class work is suspended in schools, teachers are asked to attend their institutions. The schools are closed for only students. So if later, teachers are asked to attend schools on next holiday, it is simply human rights violation,” said Mubashir, a teacher from Baramulla district.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), GN Itoo said the proposal to keep some holidays as working days in schools won’t be applicable for Sundays as labour law doesn’t permit it. “There is nothing final yet, but we have written a proposal to government that some of the holidays will be considered as working days in schools in case the educational institutions remain off due to any shut down or law and order situation,” said Itoo.
He said the directorate will notify the list of holidays to be utilized as working days only if the proposal is accepted by the government. “As of now nothing has been finalised yet. We have kept a provision of it in academic planner but will be implemented only if the proposal is accepted by government,” he said.
The DSEK earlier released an academic planner 2017-19 for schools up to higher secondary level with some recommendations that in case of a shutdown, strike, unforeseen event, forced closure of the school, the next holiday should be deemed as the working day to avoid academic loss.
In December former education minister Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari had said that the education department will come up with the new academic calendar with curtailment of holidays “which will compensate academic loses of students due to frequent closure of schools”.
The students however say that Sundays should not be included in the working days to compensate academic loses. “Most of the students visit their maternal houses on this Sunday to feel relaxed. If Sunday is also included in working days, then students will feel burdened,” said Sanna, a student from Budgam.