Sufferings of students

Kashmir Magazine

Gowhar Abdullah reshi

At this time of global uncertainty, the students may be nervously wondering about their careers as due to this pandemic the schools, colleges and universities have been closed to contain the spread of this deadly virus. This has not only affected the economy but has badly affected the education sector also. With over 1.5 billion children homebound across the globe, some of the schools switched to online learning, via zoom classes and Google classrooms. This sounds perfect but is not in fact accessible to the every student, especially Kashmiris as they are unable to log into the classes due to the blockade of high speed internet since August 5. The students in Kashmir are on the horns of dilemma with regard to these online classes.

In Kashmir school children have rarely gone to classes for nine months. This is not for the first time in Kashmir when schools have been closed. Rather, this has been happening here for decades. In 2008 civilian uprising the schools mostly remained shut in the valley. In 2010 uprising, the schools again remained closed for months. In 2016 educational institutes remained closed for eight months as unrest plagued the valley. Last year as the centre stripped the Jammu and Kashmir of special status on august 5 a complete lockdown and communication blockade was imposed in the valley. schools remained closed for about 7 months. Later Government announced a two and a half months long winter vacation from December 10 to February 22.On Feb 25 when the schools opened for the first time from August 5, the spread of novel corona virus forced the administration to announce the closure of schools on March 11. Due to the closure of schools every year it becomes very difficult for the students of the valley to complete their syllabus which become a big challenge for the students to compete with the other states.
"Parents and pupils are worried about being the victim of something out of their control and are asking, 'Will I get into college or university?"

This is the crucial time for the education sector as board examination, university exams, entrance exams of various universities and even competitive exams all are held during this period. As the days pass by with no immediate Solution to stop the outbreak of covid-19, schools and universities closures will not only have a long term impact on the continuity of learning but will also increase anxiety, stress and depression among students.

Now a days, Schooling provides essential learning and when schools are closed, children and youth are deprived opportunities for growth and all round development.The disadvantage are disproportionate for under privileged learners who tend to have fewer educational opportunities beyond schools. In Kashmir most of the children's rely on free or discounted meals provided at school for free and healthy nutrition,when schools are closed, nutrition is compromised as well, This lack of nutrition will have adverse effect on the studies of these poor students who can't afford healthy nutrition at home.

Nowadays use of smartphones and tabs have rapidly evolved from a fringe accessory to an absolute necessity.They have permeated almost all spheres of our lives one way or the other, allowing every one of us to access information through various sources anytime anywhere.People used to spend the most of the time using mobile apps than a web, it is not different for the education sector,For the education sector the students can access through various platforms to compensate the loss amid lockdown and can provide a better and more engaging way of imparting education sector, newer avenues of teaching and learning are opening up through mobile apps, but the students of jammu and Kashmir can't take advantage from it as the internet is restricted to 2g only.

Therefore, it's about time that alternative and viable mechanism is put in place to ensure that the education of the students does not suffer.