The Kashmir valley has seen a complete shutdown, including schools since the killing of militant Burhan Wani in July. However, 573 students of the Delhi Public School of Srinagar appeared their internal examinations for std 9th and 10th at an indoor stadium inside a high-security zone with the help of the J&K government. Among these 573 students who took the exams from October 1-5, was the granddaughter of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, separatist leader and Hurriyat Chairman. She is the daughter of Dr Nayeem Zafar Geelani, Syed Geelani’s elder son. Following the death of Burhan Wani at the hands of the Indian Army, all government and private schools in the region have been shut for 111 days as the Hurriyat refused to exempt them from its protest calendar.
Earlier, the government had decided to conduct the final examinations of the classes on time so as to bring back the students to school. However, parents and students had both protested against the decision and had demanded the postponing of these examinations due to the situation in the valley. And according to the IE, the last few weeks had seen government school buildings set on fire.
Now, the DPS is one of biggest private schools in Jammu and Kashmir. While it had scheduled its exams to be conducted in July, they had to be postponed indefinitely due to the protests. However, when IE contacted Dr Nayeem Zafar Geelani, he confirmed that his daughter had already appeared for the internal exams that the DPS had conducted. Speaking to the IE, he said that they were never against students appearing or attending examinations and schools. He stressed that they had never been against the conduction of exams by any school or children’s education. He says that once the school had announced the exams, it became compulsory for his daughter as it had become for many other peers of hers. He informs that since the internal exams carry 70% of the marks and if his daughter had missed it she wouldn’t have been eligible to sit for the finals in March. Nayeem further said that the school had initially decided to conduct these exams during the “relaxation time” provided by the separatists.
Delhi Public School (DPS) Pro-vice chairman, Vijay Dhar told IE that he didn’t know if Geelani’s granddaughter appeared the exams or not. He said that the exams that had been conducted for Formative Assessment (FA) 1 and 2 was attended by 571/580 students, who had enrolled in Class 9 and 10. He also informed that the school had sent question papers to the parents of the children who were in junior schools and asked them to conduct the test at home.