With exams around the corner, the students in Kashmir have not had classes for the past two months. There are 13,000 schools in Kashmir and all of them are shut for two months now. Students are hardly left with any time to study and in this scenario, they are trying to find out a way of studying.
In this environment, the teachers have been very supportive. They have been distributing CDs to the students in which they have recorded lessons. Due to technological barriers, not all the schools are able to do this, so such schools are taking help from those schools who have done this.
An officer there said that this was not an easy task for teachers. Amidst all the protests that have been going on for a while, the teachers had to come all the way in the dark only and then they had to spend the whole night there only so that the recording could be completed on time. He further added, “We have reached 60% of our students in this manner.”
Not all the students have benefitted from this method. There are a handful of schools who have been involved in this activity. Rest of the students are dependent on mosques, private centres and community centres. And all these classes are being taken by volunteers who are either school teachers or youth of the area.
It has been almost 50 days now and in the beginning of the month, the classes were held at local community centres.
Saqib Manzoor, a class XII student, said, “I had no such community centre in my neighborhood. As the protests began on July 8, I had to attend a private tuition centre which was 4 kms away. I have completed 60% of my syllabus. And it is difficult.”
The schools were shut for such a long time in the year 2008, and once in 2010. In the year 2010, the schools started coming up with CDs so that students can study. Not only this, the school have also kept the reading material in these CDs for the students as the net connectivity is a major problem. A computer system has been set up at the home of one of the employees of the school and students can go and study there if they do not get access to the reading material. Though the material might be available to private school students’, but the students in the village still face this problem due to lack of connectivity.