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KashmirTeachers in Kashmir valley start makeshift schools

Teachers in Kashmir valley start makeshift schools


Srinagar: Wedding halls and prayer rooms have been turned into classrooms in and as families struggle to provide children with a normal life after more than 50 days of the Muslim-majority region's worst violence in years.

At least 68 civilians and two security officials have been killed and more than 9,000 people injured, according to official tallies.

Authorities trying to stifle protests that erupted after a local militant Burhan Wani was gunned down by the security forces on 8 July ordered schools and colleges to close two days later.

There's no sign of them re-opening. Teacher Ghulam Rasool Kambay, seeing children becoming increasingly restless cooped up at home, decided to do something.

He opened a tutorial centre in a village on 3 August and now has more than a dozen of them in villages in a district south of Srinagar.

“The response is good. We have about 800 students in these centres. Parents are eager to send their children as they have no option right now,” Kambay told a foreign news agency.

Students find their way to the makeshift schools in small groups through back lanes, careful not to attract the attention of police or protesters.

They often sit on the floor as there are not enough desks and share books.

“It's more like a self-learning exercise, just a way to keep in touch with books,” said Muneer Wani, 16, at his temporary school at a mosque where classes begin after morning prayers.

Muneer said it was the only place to meet friends and study.

“We can't even go outdoors.”

has blamed Pakistan for supporting the violence. Pakistan denies that.

Thousands of teenage boys defy curfew every day and gather in groups to throw stones at police. Almost all of the deaths have been caused in clashes with the security forces

Zubair Ahmad said he was too worried about the safety of his two children to send them to classes at a nearby mosque.

His wife has been teaching them at home instead, but the children were getting restless, he said.

“It is very difficult for children … they've become aggressive.” Reuters

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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