In the wake of intermittent ceasefire violations by the Pakistani forces along the LoC, more than 110 schools have been shut down, thus affecting education of the students in five borders districts of the state.
The most affected districts included Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Poonch and Rajouri, wherein
schools situated close to borders have been closed since last several weeks, probably following the surgical strike carried by the Indian Army. Even when the administration is struggling hard to ensure safety of the border residents, the students and their parents are worried about the loss of precious time of the students, which is getting waste due to persistent border skirmishes. “My school is close to LoC, day before yesterday after heavy firing from Pakistan side, everyone at school got scared and wanted to reach home safe”, said Vinay Gupta, school going student. Students near the border areas don’t have any future as schools get close any time seeing the situation at the border areas. “Many times we have requested the Government to provide land in safe area but no one has taken any step in this regard,” said Swaran Lal, Sarpanch of Suchetgarh village.
Talking to Newspoint Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) Khour, Dev Raj Bhagat said “Around 50 schools in his area have been closed. Till now there is no provision for alternative classes for them but we hope after holidays schools will be resumed.” Narinder Kumar teacher said, “Students are very scared and live in fear that the firing can take place anytime.” Chief Education Officer, JL Sudan said “All schools are closed that comes in the range of 3km to 5km near the International Border. Schools can be reopened any time, it depends upon the situation, if situation will be normal at the border schools will be reopen.
“At present all the schools along the proximity of the borders have been closed down as a precautionary measures, as we do not want students to get harmed,” CEO said.
Meanwhile, score of border residents rued that they do not ask the government to shift them to the safer places, but the government must understand that every second is precious for the students and instead of finding any alternative, they have closed down schools. Every time there is any activity on the borders, the first step administration takes is closure of schools. “This practice has been employed since long time, but till date no solution has been found, which is unfortunate. We demand that a permanent school should be made at some distance from the borders, so that at times of exigencies, students may pursue their studies without any hindrance,” they said and added students should not suffer the wrath of ceasefire violations.