01 August, 2021

Rip Van Winkle Is A Long Draw

Kashmiri students face the coronavirus lockdown after staying months indoors since last August

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Institutions remain out of bounds
Rip Van Winkle Is A Long Draw

Fakirah Ayub, a student of Class 11, had attended classes for just 10 days when educational institutions in Kashmir were closed again on March 12 after the COVID-19 pandemic reached the region. Coming after a brief hiatus, the current lockdown has extended the closure of educational institutions in the Valley, which have been shut since August 5 last year, when the Centre abrogated Articles 370 and 35-A amid a communication blockade and large-scale arrests.

On April 4, the government asked all schools to start online classes, but students say it is “useless” as the lines get frequently disconnected. “The speed is so low that my mother, a teacher, gave up trying to take classes online,” says a student.

Online education is easier said than done so long as internet services aren’t fully restored. Internet in Kashmir has been restricted to 2G on all mobile networks since the services were restored on January 24. “The moment I start the class, the students say they can’t hear me. I keep shouting and the class remains just a formality. It doesn’t help the...

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