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Calendar guaranteeing 200 working days coming up for schools in trouble-torn valley

FILE PHOTO

By Irshad Khan

Srinagar, Apr 11: In view of the students’ protests in the valley schools of late and in line with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005, the School Education Department has framed an academic calendar for the schools in Kashmir.
The calendar, which is “awaiting concurrence” from the General Administration Department (GAD), has envisaged at least 200 working days in the schools in Kashmir, a top official in the School Education Department told The Kashmir Monitor.
The academic calendar, the official said, has proposed to minimize the number of holidays “barring Sundays” and hold “remedial classes” for the students to compensate the lost time of the students’ studies. “It is our duty to give the students 200 days of learning- teaching outcome. In principle, we have taken a decision in the School Education Department to have a separate education calendar, but we need to have the concurrence from the GAD,” the official said.
For the concurrence, the official said, “We just need to write a letter to them over the matter”. Schools in the valley, the official lamented, “have opened for a period of 10 or 12 days” in the current academic session, which, as per him, was “having an adverse impact” on the students.
“See, there is NCF-2005 as per which we should have 200 working days minus vacations in an academic year… As you know because of the present law and order situation adversely affecting our schools and forcing their closure, we have tried to devise an academic calendar,” the official said.
He said that if the schools in the valley remain closed on a day due to a shutdown, “we would conduct classes the following holiday barring Sunday”.
“But we have to take the concurrence of the GAD, because it is the GAD that notifies the list of holidays,” he said.
Once the GAD conveys its concurrence, the official said, “We would be able to (officially) notify the calendar in which we ensure that 200 days of teaching learning outcome are carried out in all the schools in the state including private schools.”
“We need to have out of box solutions to complete the syllabi and courses otherwise our schools would suffer in Kashmir division. Hopefully we would be able to achieve the set targets,” the official added.
The remedial classes proposed in the academic calendar would be conducted “during school hours” as per the official Over the students’ protests in the schools of late, the official said,
“Law and order is not my forte to comment on. We want that the schools should remain open. The situation is going on for the last so many years. And every time the School Education Department has found a solution. Students have excelled despite so many impediments.”
The official said that it was “the moral obligation of the School Education Department to follow the NCF regulations in letter and spirit”.
The academic calendar, which would be issued “shortly”, has even envisaged “conducting classes in the schools on Sundays as well,” another top rung official in the School Education Department said.
He said that the remedial classes in the current academic session would be “scaled up as compared to last year”.
Apart from being necessitated by the prevailing situation, the official said that the remedial classes were “otherwise required also”.
“They would also help for the outcomes of the National Achievement Survey (NAS) in which the state is falling short,” he said.
The official however said that the academic calendar was being devised for schools across the state.
“While we already have the calendar proposed for Kashmir, it is being synchronised for Jammu also as it has a different academic session as compared to Kashmir,” he added.