The private schools across Valley have failed to introduce and sustain Arts and Commerce streams for students at 10+2 level, forcing the students to switch over to government higher secondary schools to continue studies in their choicest subjects. The private schools offer admission in only science stream for students while as students interested in other streams are forced to look for options in government schools. As per official figures there are around 5459 private schools- 1542 primary, 2135 middle, 1338 high schools and 444 higher secondary schools across the state. According to parents, the limited options of subjects at 10+2 level in private schools leaves the students with limited option. “This either forces the students to change the school or opt for a subject which he or she is rarely interested in,” said a parent.
Out of all the private higher secondary schools in Kashmir, only Delhi Public School (DPS) Srinagar has introduced commerce and other streams. “Other than science we offer admission in Arts, Commerce, Fine Arts and Information Technology streams at 10+2 level which has proven very successful keeping in view the interests of the students,” said Vijay Dhar, pro vice-chairman DPS Srinagar. However other schools have apprehensions that introduction of new streams in schools may result in loss for the institution. “We had introduced commerce stream at 10+2 level in our school but it didn’t get much response from the students and we later closed admissions in the subject. More than 95% students opt for science subjects here,” said Principal Burnhall Higher secondary school, Fr Sebastain. “We tried to manage commerce stream despite having paucity of space but students gave a cold response at the time of admissions. We have only science stream available in school,” he said. Similarly, Saint Joseph’s school Baramulla had earlier introduced commerce stream in addition to science stream which was later stopped owing to poor response of students.“Some students leave private schools and take admission in government schools because they join private coaching centres and manage their attendance in government schools through other means. They can’t do it in private schools,” he said. Meanwhile, the management at Presentation Convent School said the students never approached them with the demand to introduce Arts or commerce stream in the schools besides science stream. “We need 30 to 40 students in a class but only eight to nine students leave the institutions after class 10th. We can’t start a new stream for mere nine students,” the spokesman of the school said. The principal of Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson higher secondary school however said they are mulling to introduce Arts and Commerce stream for student in Kashmir Valley School at Humhama.