The Jammu and Kashmir administration has so far tagged 180 schools that according to them have expired lease agreements and have failed to submit the required documents for further extension. The move according to government has been taken to secure the future of thousands of children enrolled in these schools.
The students enrolled for class 10th, 11th and 12th enrolled in these schools have been shifted to nearby government schools and shall be appearing in board exams. There are dozens of prominent institutions included in the list of tagged schools under SRO 177 which have been warned against any further enrolment of students for the same classes in upcoming academic year.
One of the prominent institutions tagged is St. Joseph Higher Secondary School Baramulla which shares a rich legacy of over 100 years and have been pioneer in setting up the infrastructure for modern education in border district.
The institution has come up in the district at the times when there was no modern education centre for its people and thousands of students have passed out from this school who have not only succeeded in their respective career but helped to shape the society in whatever capacity they could.
The people of the town shares rich bond with the institution for its social services. Even in present times when there are good number of schools imparting with modern education to the children, however, St Joseph stands tall which has spared itself from becoming purely a business institute like others.
It is still an affordable institution for lower middle class. It has all the times avoided staying or indulging in controversies and has purely been focusing on its mission to educate its students. Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports by the school administration which blames authorities for not extending the lease of the property despite submitting its documents well on time for the necessary action.
The school management even said that the intervention by the LG admin could not bring any relief. On the other side the administration blames school authorities including the St Joseph for not moving its file on time to seek the extension in its lease agreement.
Whatever be the reasons, it is disturbing to witness these premier institutions which not only survived in the worst political times of Kashmir but shaped the future of thousands of students and now facing an axe from the government. Government must find the middle ground and ensure these institutions thrive and survive which are actually helping our society to grow and progress. Kashmir can’t afford to lose them.