All schools and colleges in Kashmir reopened on Monday after three-month-long winter vacations.
Roads were abuzz with buses ferrying schoolchildren drapedin colourful school uniforms. Students were seen rejoicing the reunion withtheir peers with hugs and handshakes.
"We take private tuition together during winter months butthe excitement of joining peers in schools is altogether different," said Adil,a student of Saint Joseph's School in Baramulla.
The schools were scheduled to re-open on March 4, but thevacations were extended by the divisional administration, which cited inclementweather as the reason.
The winter vacation for students up to class 8 started fromDecember 6, 2018 while the vacation for students of class 9 onwards startedfrom December 17, 2018.
However, the colleges observed winter vacations fromDecember 24 last year.
The first day in both government and private educationalinstitutions was observed as welcome day. The schoolchildren, particularlyprimary class students, were welcomed with toffees and sweets.
The directorate of school education Kashmir (DSEK) hasframed an academic planner, in which the first two days in government schoolswill focus on engaging school children in play, paintings, organising skits andfield activity on science besides holding interactions with the elderly peoplein villages.
While the majority of thestudents had a good time on the first day, some encountered inconveniencebecause mounds of snow covered their school courtyards.
Teachers and students struggled to navigate snow that hadfallen from the roofs of thee government schools in Reshipora in Hajibal areaof Baramulla district.
"I came to the school on Saturday. I literally had to digthe way through snow. All three school buildings are surrounded by more thanfive feet of snow," said a teacher at the Government High School Reshipora.
"On the first day we had no student in the middle school butaround a dozen students attended the high school," said another teacher.
Deputy commissionerBaramulla G N Itoo said public works department has been asked to clear snow inthese schools. However, many teachers said that snow has not been cleared inthe premises of schools in remote areas.