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Kashmir schools get a new lease of life

On the morning of September 13, 2016, an uneasy calm prevailed in the Kashmir valley as Id-ul-Zuha, a day of reflection offering a transitory relief after 2 months of violent protests and life-crippling curfew in the Valley. But before the day could end, something happened that set a precedent for similar incidents throughout the Valley in coming days. The Government Middle School at Yaripora village in Kulgam district, was set on fire. This was followed by burning of 36 schools razed to ground in next two months. In most of these instances, the police records state that the attacks were by “unknown persons”. The government schools where many economically impoverished students came to study to dream big in life will take years to recover.

After a four-month-long shutdown, on November 18, classes for the new session began. In view of prevailing conditions in the valley, the government has decided to mass-promote over a lakh students, except those in Class X and Class XII. The government, both Central and State has been trying to assuage the anger, anxiety and despair following the killing of Burhan Wani , a Hizbul Mujahideen  commander  on July 8, 2016. Though the separatists had initially opposed the government s move but finally conceded in face of the fact that the dates of examination are decided by the education system of the country and not the government. And that the career and future of a lot of students was at stake. The schools were not burning when protesters were out on the streets. It was only when government picked up 10,000 youth that the chaos began. Outside some schools, the writing on the wall says, “Burhan is our new leader”.

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