Despite the culmination of academic year 2016, government is still indecisive about exams for lower class students including class 9th and 11th notwithstanding its 'keen interest' in the class 10 and 12 exams.
Following the closure of all educational institutions after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8, the education department has failed to reopen the schools. The exams for lower class students used to be conducted in October each year which was followed by the commencement of new academic year in first week of November.
However, amid the ongoing unrest the inordinate delay by the school education department to decide about exams of lower classes has put the students in distress.
"They have not decided anything about these lower class students yet which has put students in state of confusion. The new academic year has already started but department is yet to decide whether these students will be granted mass promotion or they will be promoted on basis of their assessment in examination," said a group of parents.
Amid the uncertainty, the private schools have already given study material to primary and upper primary class students for preparation at home amid the uprising.
"After providing study material, students were given question banks in a format of question papers for which they will be assessed by the parents at home," said a teacher in Saint Josephs' Higher Secondary School Baramulla.
She said the students will write the answers of the questions (mentioned in the question banks given by school) on small test copies and will submit back to the school. "On basis of that these students will be elevated to their next classes. It will be a home based assessment under the supervision of their parents," the teacher said.
It is pertinent to mention that the school education department this year had decided to abolish the No Detention Policy – under which the students up to class 9th were promoted without taking their exam performance into consideration – and promote students to their next classes on basis of their Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE).
Officials said the department has delayed implementation of CCE given the ongoing unrest in Kashmir. However the department has not taken a final decision on holding exams of lower class students.
"This year department may go with the earlier practice of No Detention Policy and all the students will be promoted to higher classes," officials said.
Besides the lower class exams, the school education department is yet to take a call on the annual exams for 9th and 11th class students.
The students of class 11 however have been left in a dilemma as their first term exam was left in midway in wake of the unrest that broke out onJuly 8.
For both classes, question papers are set by JK Board of School Education (BOSE) while as the exams are conducted by the concerned schools.
However, reliable sources in JK BOSE said that the assessment of class 11 students would be done on basis of their performance in first term exams.
"We will try to complete the first term exams of class 11 students, and their assessment will be done on basis of this exam and they will be promoted to their next class. We can provide this relaxation to the students," sources in BOSE said.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Ajaz Ahmad Bhat said they were assessing the process. "We have not decided anything yet but we are assessing whether to announce mass promotion or hold exams for lower classes including class 8 and 9," Bhat said. He said the decision will be made public in a day or two.
Already the class 8th annual exams are going on in Gurez, Kargil and Leh areas from November 8. The exams are being conducted by State Institute of Education (SIE).
"We had submitted the proposal to hold class 8 exams for other districts but government didn't approve it. We were asked to wait till things are finalized," said Principal SIE, Suraya Akhtar.