School Exams

The examinations for class 10th and 12th finally commenced. According to official figures around 98% students have opted to sit in the tests. There has been an attempt by some elements to link the conduct of examinations to return of normality. The people of Kashmir, it needs to be made clear, also want return of peace and normality but the goal cannot be achieved by taking unwilling students to the examination centres. The authorities have to take appropriate measures for achieving that objective. However, the conduct of examinations must have come as a relief to many. The people also cooperated with the authorities to ensure smooth conduct of examinations. However, the authorities still seem clueless about examinations for primary and middle classes. The private schools have declared provisional mass promotion to pave way for new admissions. People by and large believe that it is a step in the right direction. However, the government decision is awaited to promote the lower class students to new classes. The government decision in this regard must come immediately to relieve the students and their parents of perpetual anxiety. Remember, the 2014 floods caused massive devastation across Kashmir. A number of school buildings also got damaged. Valuable infrastructure was lost. That time also the government had to finally announce mass promotion for lower classes, but the announcement came late in March 2015. This time the government should not delay it. If the decision comes now, the students can prepare for the new session during the winters. Last time the government also toyed with the idea of winter schooling but had to abandon the idea for obvious reasons. This year Kashmir is witnessing severe cold and the temperatures are running two to three degrees below normal. Meteorological Department has predicted further fall in the temperatures in coming days. The examinees have blamed the authorities of failure in providing adequate heating arrangements in the examination centres. The vital decision, therefore, has to come now. Nobody should use the students as grist to run a particular political mill. Education is important and people know that, as nicely as anybody else in the power corridors, if not more.

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