Let’s Be Rational

2 mins read
Photo: Xuhaib Maqbool
Photo: Xuhaib Maqbool

The Jammu and Kashmir government eventually succumbed to the public pressure and diluted its stand of conducting exams in November. It has now given a choice to the students either to appear in exams with fifty per cent concession in syllabus on a slated time schedule or get prepared for exams in March 2017 with no relaxations.

Earlier the government was willing to offer more significant relaxations to the students in case all students would have been willing to write their exams in November this year. The government modifications in the exam policy came after it faced furious protests from the students, civil society and the parents who attributed their unwillingness to the turmoil in valley. Some civil society groups in fact said that government is playing with the lives of students and using them to enforce calm on streets with the opening of schools. There was a collective consensus over the holding of exams in March among all quarters except the government which finally agreed upon to the public demand. The separatists who headed this shutdown and advocated strongly of closing down schools amid the ongoing unrest refused to speak anything about the exams of students. They, however, were firm to believe that education and state sponsored “atrocities” won’t go hand in hand. The political and civil societies across the valley had enough politics out of the children’s education. Every attempt of government was reacted strongly by one and all. Those social groups and ambitious but unknown political groups and figures all carved out their space out of this sensitive issue. But what we all failed to achieve is a constructive and positive roadmap to handle this matter in far mature and sensible way.

Nobody came forward to bring the consensus over this matter and pave the middle path for the two warring opponents. The civil society in fact shunted this responsibility which it was bound to share morally.  We had no solution to the problem but certainly had all the reactions to the government initiatives. The brimming concern is that over 13 lakh students are away from schools for long four months of the academic season. If we again fail to conduct the exams and secure their one year of academic calendar it amply indicates where we are pushing our future. Politics over education is simply a path towards darkness and amounts the violation of basic tenants of Islam which emphatically stress for the education of all men and women. The Prophet (PBUH) says who dies in seeking the knowledge which purifies his or her character and benefits others will be raised among martyrs.

Historically Kashmir was known as the highest seat of learning and owns the prestigious educational institutes set up centuries ago. The web of schools set up here by the British’s is evident to the facts that how education in Kashmir was thriving notwithstanding the political odds, the region had gone through in past.

Education was never causality the way it is right now and hostage to the political sensitivities. The time has come to initiate the collective measures and save the future of 13 lakh children.

The editorial appeared in print edition of 9-15 Nov 2016

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