Kashmir schools witness thin student attendance due to incessant rainfall

The impact of the rains on school attendance has been felt across the region.
The impact of the rains on school attendance has been felt across the region.File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Incessant rainfall in Kashmir has led to considerable drop in attendance of students in schools.

The continuous downpour has resulted in a dip in temperature and a rise in water levels in and around the school premises, making it difficult for students to attend classes.

An official said that besides continuous rainfall and Eid festivity, poor infrastructure in government schools has also been attributed to the low attendance in schools, particularly up to the elementary level.

The officials said that the majority of the schools lack proper drainage systems, resulting in accumulation of rainwater on school grounds and surroundings, making it almost impossible for the students to navigate their way to school.

"The onset of Eid festivities is also another factor that has contributed to the dip in attendance. Many students are already taking time off to prepare for the upcoming holiday and spend time with their families," said a Chief Education Officer (CEO) posted in one of the north Kashmir districts.

"I visited several schools in my district today and found very thin attendance. Students preferred to sit at home owing to the drop in temperature. Besides, they must have also been busy with Eid preparations. We are expecting that attendance to improve after Eid," the CEO said.

The impact of the rains on school attendance has been felt across the region.

In many districts, students were forced to stay at home due to the accumulation of water in the surroundings and premises of schools. "The situation also got worsened due to the lack of proper transportation facilities on roads after continuous rains, making it challenging for the students to commute to school," another official said. The lack of infrastructure always plays a spoilsport in regular schooling at times of rains or drop in normal temperature.

"Most of the schools do not have adequate accommodation, not to mention heating and other requisite facilities. This is the main reason that academics take a hit with a slight drop in temperature," the official said.

Besides the reports of thin attendance of students up to elementary level in government schools, the attendance in higher secondary level classes is yet to improve as well. While the annual examination of class 11th students is still going on, the Education Department has started provisional admission of class 10th students in their next class, till the results are announced by the J&K Board of School Education (BOSE).

"But students do not attend the schools properly unless the formal announcement of the result is made by JKBOSE," a teacher said.

While the schools across Kashmir witnessed thin attendance due to continuous rainfall, some private schools, particularly in north Kashmir tried to keep primary to elementary level students engaged with extracurricular activities.

Sanctorum School in Lalad, Sopore and GD Goenka Baramulla conducted Ramadan and Eid special events in their schools.

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