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Forced to close in wake of Article 370 recall, schools in Valley open after 7 months

Children, donning uniforms, thronged the schools in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley in the morning with smiling faces.

Published: 24th February 2020 12:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2020 11:12 AM   |  A+A-

A Kashmiri schoolboy walks past soldiers outside his school in Srinagar

A Kashmiri schoolboy walks past soldiers outside his school in Srinagar. (Photo| AP)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The schools in Kashmir reopened on Monday after seven months. They were forced to close in the face of disruptions following the withdrawal of Article 370 in the Valley on August 5, 2019. Three winter vacations also added to the extended break.

Children, donning uniforms, thronged the schools in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley in the morning with smiling faces. “I am very happy and excited to join school. It feels to be back among my friends and teachers,” said Ahmed Hilal, who studies in Class 7 at a private school in Srinagar. He said he missed his friends badly after the schools were closed last year.

Riyaz Ahmad, a student of Class 9 at another private school, said he has been eagerly waiting for this day for seven months. “It’s nice to be back among the familiar faces at school,” he said.

The authorities had enforced communication blockade and closed all educational institutions after the Valley was stripped off certain special privileges guaranteed under Article 370.

Although the administration had since made many attempts to open schools after improvement in the security situation, parents refused to send their wards fearing a spike in tension. Zahoor Ahmad, a parent, said “Our children lost a precious academic year owing to clampdown enforced by the authorities after August 5. Let’s hope 2020 remains peaceful.”

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