With all educational institutions closed for nearly three months due to the ongoing unrest, Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education (BOSE) on Wednesday rescheduled the annual examination for class 10 and 12 in Kashmir division to November from October.
"In view of the prevailing situation, the BOSE has decided to reschedule the annual examination for class 10 and 12 in Kashmir division. The examination for both 10 and 12 classes will be conducted in second week of November instead the first week of October for 10th class and third week of October for 12 class," an official spokesman said, quoting a notification issued by the Board.
"We shall have to complete the process of conduct of examinations and declaration of results well in time so that the students can prepare for and appear in various competitive examinations, including NEET and JEE, for admission to various professional courses, both within and outside the state," Education Minister Naeem Akhtar said.
In a significant decision, the government has also decided to review the policy of 'No-Detention' at the elementary level to check the deterioration in the quality of education.
The state's education department has decided that, henceforth, State Institute of Education (SIE) would conduct T1 and T2 exams from class 5 to 9 with external evaluation, while BOSE would conduct T2 exam of class 11.
However, the evaluation for all these examinations would be supervised by SIE, while the cluster principals will supervise assessment, evaluation and remedial teaching, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the education minister today visited the historic Islamia Hanfia Educational Institute which was gutted in a mysterious fire incident at Lal Chowk in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
Terming the incident as a "colossal loss" for the state in general and Anantnag in particular, he assured that the government would support reconstruction of the building in tune with its distinct heritage character.
Interacting with the school management and the locals, the minister expressed anguish over the extensive damage caused to the iconic nearly 100-year-old institute and said the it is not only one of the oldest educational institutions in South Kashmir, but also a cradle of learning which has produced some of the renowned literary giants from the area.
It is a matter of great concern for not only the government, but every right-thinking citizen of Kashmir that amid disturbances over the past couple of months several schools have gone up in flames especially in South Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian, he said, adding a place like Kashmir "which has been an epicentre of intellectual and spiritual learning, cannot afford systemic educational disempowerment of its children". Akhtar said the residents of this place shall have to "seriously ponder over what is going to be the future of our children, if they are forced to stay away from schools like this endlessly".
"The history is witness that even during wars, major conflicts and extended agitations across the world, education was never allowed to get disrupted," he said, adding, "While the affluent class can afford to send their children outside the state for schooling, it is only the middle class and the poor whose children are being denied the right to education in Kashmir".