Buzz back in Srinagar schools after 116 days

Students flocked to over a dozen private schools in Srinagar for the first time in 116 days even as at least one prominent institution closed for winter ahead of its normal schedule.

The buzz was back at Presentation Convent, Tyndale-Biscoe, Mallinson Girls’ School and the missionary run Burn Hall Boys’ School, albeit with some self-imposed restrictions for the safety of the students. According to some parents, they have been advised not to send their wards dressed in the school uniform.

Commuting to and from uptown campuses also remains a challenge in the absence of school and city buses. The unofficial word is that parents should send their children to school only if they can arrange private transport.

DPS Srinagar has declared an early winter vacation, taking many parents by surprise. “I don’t know why DPS has chosen to remain closed from now till March when classes have just resumed in most of the private schools,” said Basharat Wani, whose son hasn’t been to the picturesque Athwajan campus since August.

All schools and other educational institutions have lost almost four months of classes, although they have been officially open since September. The forced closure had started on August 5, when J&K went into lockdown ahead of the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

While teaching staff have been reporting for duty for more than two months, it wasn’t until Thursday that the classrooms came alive.

A few institutions have opted to hold classes for two days a week and see how it goes. A principal who did not want to be named said Thursday was a test case and that a decision would soon be taken on whether to reopen full time.

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