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Now,students being asked to study for 2 classes simultaneously!

Exams in March, coaching centers start new session; Cry for mass promotion goes louder

As if running schools in “unsafe and unhygienic” conditions in this flood-ravaged City was not enough, the schoolchildren and their parents have been taken for a ride on yet another front. While annual exams are scheduled to be held in March 2015, the private coaching centers have started admissions for new session. Simply put, students are being forced to study in two classes simultaneously.

 Students of 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th standards seem to be worst victims of the new development. Various coaching centers in areas like Parray Pora, Barzulla and Khanyar have been floating advertisements seeking admission in their new batches while some are scheduled to commence class work in the coming days.

THE EXPLOITATION
The students plead that when they are yet to appear in the annual exams how could they start coaching for the next class. And given the allegedly huge price tag of around Rs 40-50,000  fee, these private coaching centers charge, parents have condemned the new admissions as “exploitation to grab money.”
“How can I send my child to tuition for class 10th when he is yet to qualify his class 9th exams,” argued Shaheen Nazir, a parent. “Moreover how can you expect a child to study for two classes simultaneously. This mockery is going to spoil the future of our children and one wonders why the government has been silent on this lawlessness,” complained her husband.
As about their child, he is insisting the parents to get his admission fee for coaching deposited without any further delay. “I went to the coaching center and they said if I don’t deposit fee for tuition my next year will go waste and my career will be ruined,” the minor told Greater Kashmir.
Prominent tour operator Rauf Tramboo sails in the same boat. He said his niece is being offered admission in one such coaching center. “Another exploitation is that these coaching centers demand entire fee of around Rs 40,000 in advance. This is injustice,” he said. The complainants said District Magistrate Farooq Ahmed Shah should look into the matter.

MASS PROMOTION NEEDED
 Observers said mass promotion to all school classes except for 10th and 12th, which are conducted by JK State Board of School Education, could have proved a blessing for the students of flood-hit Srinagar, where devastation due to floods has been highest in the state and more than the aggregate of damages in other districts of Kashmir province.
“For years MHRD has been saying that final exams for lower classes be discouraged… Moreover there’s  a Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation of students whereby performance of student is continuously evaluated in a classroom. Apart from this all, students have already appeared the bi annual exams and the unit tests. So there’s absolutely no harm in giving mass promotion,” said an academician.

TUITION CENTER VIEWPOINT
A private tuition center while supporting the views said had the government granted mass promotion, the confusion  would have ended. “May be students face problems but we too are helpless.”
Explaining his point he said: “Uncertainty has been created as we have not been able to conclude the session. As the session is yet to be concluded, students are unaware of which class they are in.” “If we wait for new session what about our business?” he asked.

DIRECTOR EDUCATION VIEW
Director School Education Kashmir Tariq Ali Mir is reluctant to allow any mass promotion in the flood-ravaged City where thousands have lost their homes and households while traumatized children of such families have obviously lost their books and even uniforms. He often equates post flood schooling in Srinagar  with districts which remained unaffected by floods.
Last month when private schools announced mass promotion for classes other than those appearing in board exams, a move widely appreciated by the civil society, Mir opposed it saying the announcement has no validity.
“They cannot supersede or modify cabinet decision as per their sweet-will; they have to abide by the law otherwise their registrations will be cancelled,” he warned adding “Announcing mass promotions upto class 7th is against the spirit of schooling.”
In October, the Coordination Committee of Private Schools Association (CCPSA), a forum claiming to govern functioning of private schools, had announced mass promotion at-least till class 7th while government was expected to extend it to classes 8th, 9th and 11th.

BOTTOMLINE
With the Director School Education Kashmir unwilling to buy pleas on mass promotion the students and their parents have been seemingly taken for a ride.
The parents said the authorities were unwilling to act even against the “erring coaching centers.” “Past floods, there’s total anarchy in the educational system in the City,” the concerned said. “We and our children are being taken for a ride.”

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE WILL DECLINE: MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS

MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS said it was impossible for students of this age group to study in two classes concurrently even as they cautioned that it will affect academic performance of the students.
Terming the development a “psychological burden”, noted psychiatrist Dr Arshad Hussain said: “First it will distract children from present and secondly put an additional burden on them psychologically. This will ultimately lead to decline in examination  performance.”
Citing an example he said: “When you have not reached the  bridge  you are asking them to cross it.” “Once things done in jumbled way, human mind gets confused. Human mind does things efficiently when done sequentially. When you jumble past or present with future people get stressed,” explained Dr Arshad Associate Professor at Government Medical College.

Points to be noted

Before final exams,coaching centers start class work for new session

Students asked to make full-payment of around Rs 40,000 in advance

Observers say mass-promotion only way out to solve the problem

Except for classes 10th and 12th, mass promotion feasible due to continuous comprehensive evaluation students undergo