Tens of thousands of students sat for their Class 12 annual exams yesterday after four months of unrest during which schools remained shut across the Kashmir Valley. Officials said nearly 95% of the 45,000 students appeared on the first day of the examinations across 484 centres in the valley. “The Class 12 examinations were conducted smoothly,” Zahoor Ahmad Chatt, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE), said here. “The percentage of students taking this exam is normal given the averages over the last many years. There are no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere during the conduct of the exams.”
Authorities made elaborate arrangements of security at all the exam centres where police and paramilitary security forces were deployed in strength. Parents ferried children to the exam centres using different modes of private transport as a separatist-sponsored shutdown continued. The Class 10 exams begin today for which some 55,000 students have been enrolled. Chatt said 98% of Class 10 students have already taken their admit cards. Since all educational institutions, including schools, have remained closed since July 9, the authorities decided to allow a 50% cut in the syllabus for those students willing to take the exams. Meanwhile Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti lashed out at some television news channels for bringing a bad name to the Kashmir Valley in their race for TRP ratings.
Speaking at an Asian Development Bank function in Srinagar, Mufti said: “The role of these news channels has not been positive at all during the present unrest in the valley. They get some guests from Pakistan and also some from our country, including Kashmir, on their TV shows and for 24 hours they exhibit anger.
“It hurts to see what they say… Nobody talks about the local youth saving army soldiers from a truck that met with an accident. Nobody shows how a shikarawallah gave his life saving tourists,” the chief minister said. She said the Kashmir Valley is such a show window that most tourists would love to come here simply to see the breathtaking beauty of the place. “Ladakh has a population of just 1.25 lakh and this year there were two lakh visitors. Why can’t every home in the valley have tourists as paying guests,” she said.