Several top officers of School Education Department (SED) have been stating for some time now that government has decided to shift the academic session from November-December to March-April.
Accordingly, the annual board examinations for classes 10th to 12th would be held in March-April 2023 instead of November-December 2022.
According to them, the formal orders in this direction will be issued within some days.
However, nothing has been yet said about the conduct of examinations for the lower classes.
Surely, government must be having some valid reasons to shift the academic session but there should have been extensive consultations with all stake-holders before taking such a sensitive decision.
Education being very important sector needs such consultations and feedback, before taking important decisions. It should not be a one-sided affair.
Those, particularly the experts in the field of education, opposing the move, should be told and convinced why the change is being made. If they have some valuable suggestions, those too can be accommodated.
Various quarters have already expressed concern over the shifting of the academic session.
Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC) J&K, a non-political civil society collective comprising academics, jurists, prominent citizens and former civil servants, has sought retention of the existing academic session for schools in Winter Zone areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
GCC says that in a memorandum submitted to the government, it has made out a strong case against switch-over to April-March session so as not to put a large student population of Winter Zone areas to avoidable disadvantage.
“As a matter of precedent and principle, an extensive process of consultations with all stake-holders must precede change in a sensitive policy matter such as this, if and when contemplated,” the memorandum added.
Government says that J&K would fully implement the National Education Policy (NEP-2020) from the current academic session and also move to a uniform academic calendar which in turn would be synchronised to the national academic calendar.
Whatever be the objective and aim behind the change of academic session, there is nothing wrong in holding consultations on the issue with all those who matter.