Government plans to reopen schools in curfew-bound Kashmir valley flopped as no institution complied on Tuesday, the date set for resuming classes after the extended summer break. On Wednesday, in a surprising move, Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar ordered the reopening of schools in four districts of Kashmir valley – Bandipore, Baramulla, Ganderbal and Kupwara.
However in North Kashmir, private schools as well as government schools remained closed. Not a single student showed up, neither in villages nor in towns. Even school staff remained absent as the strict police restrictions prevented them from reaching their workplace.
Requesting anonymity, a private school owner told , “How was it possible to open schools today? We can’t risk the lives of our kids. Hurriyat has given a strike call and we follow their (Protest) calendar.”
The decision has backfired even for those desirous of obeying the decision of the government. Farooq Ahmed Halwai, Principal Boys higher Secondary School, Sopore reached the school at 9:30 am with some staff members but found the gate locked as the peon was not present. Farooq Ahmed then sent two lecturers on a two-wheeler to fetch the peon from his home. But the two staff members were not allowed to reach Krankshivan, where the peon lives, as police had restricted civilian movement.
Talking to The Varmul Post, Farooq Ahmed said, “My staff and I were waiting at the gate and I had sent two lecturers for the keys but they were not allowed to proceed further from down town”.
A female staff member at Girls Higher secondary, Sopore said the police stopped her at a temporary barricade. “I was allowed only after I told them I have to reach school. The government asks us to reopen schools but then they put strict restrictions also,” she said.
(Reports The Varmul Post )
2015 Kashmir Despatch