Barring south, middle schools reopen in Kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 10: Except south Kashmir, educational institutions reopened on Saturday in the Valley, where authorities have ordered closure of schools, colleges and universities as a precautionary measure following separatist strike call on Monday.
The strike was called to protest against death of four civilians and killing of two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants in an encounter by security forces in Shopian on Sunday night.
The Kashmir University (KU) and Jammu and Kashmir School Board of Education (BOSE) will also conduct scheduled examinations from today while the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) started scheduled examinations from Friday.
Though High and Higher Secondary Schools (HSS) reopened on February 27, the lower class up to middle schools were to reopen after winter vacation on March 5, when the separatist called for strike.
However, all educational institutions will remain closed as a precautionary measure in south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian as a precautionary measure. Now, educational institutions will reopen in south from Monday.
Meanwhile, according to Secretary, Education Farooq Ahmad Shah, the government would release Rs 1 crore to each District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIET) to strengthen their basic infrastructure and make them fully functional in the state.
Students in colourful school uniform, holding bags and water bottles in their hands were seen marching towards their respective institutions in the Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where schools reopened on Saturday after winter vacation. In fact, the schools up to middle classes were to reopen on March 5 in the Kashmir valley. However, as a precautionary measure authorities ordered closure of all educational institutions after Shopian killings and strike called by separatists. Today will be observed as “welcome day” for students in their schools and there will be no other activities.
High and HSS also reopened today after remaining closed since Monday. Similarly examination and other activities also resumed in universities in the valley.
Meanwhile, Shah has directed all the Chief Education Officers (CEO) of Kashmir Division to keep three days for the inspection of the schools and maintain close contact with all the Heads of the Institutions.
An official spokesman said that Director, School Education, Kashmir GN Itoo, along with other officers and the Heads of Institutions of schools of Srinagar, briefed the Secretary about the overall education scenario of the Valley. The Director assured that biometric attendance system would be installed in all the Higher Secondary Schools of the Kashmir Division at the earliest.
He said the Secretary also reviewed the functioning of Education Department in Leh and Kargil and other far-flung areas like Keran, Machil, Tangdhar, Wadwan, Dachan, Paddar, Gurez, Tulail and other areas. He directed concerned CEOs to take necessary steps to provide all the educational facilities in these areas by taking the help of the civil administration.
He further said that strict action would be initiated against the teachers found working in private tuition centers during working hours. There should be no negligence in payment of salaries to the teachers, he added. The Secretary also reviewed the construction works going on under RMSA, SSA and other schemes. He directed Chief Education Officer, Kulgam to personally monitor the construction works of schools in the district.