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10th class students in limbo as JK board rejects exam forms for private schools using ‘state land’

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The educational prospects of numerous students in Jammu and Kashmir hang in limbo, with the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) declining to accept examination forms from class 10th students enrolled in private schools situated on state-owned land, reported Greater Kashmir.

This decision has sparked apprehensions and raised concerns over the board’s actions, as it appears to defy a stay order issued by the J&K High Court against a government directive from the previous year.

The predicament originated in 2022 when the J&K government amended rules under the Education Act 2002, introducing new guidelines for the use of land and building structures by private schools in the region.

These amendments were executed by the J&K Lieutenant Governor in the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Rules, 2010, exercising powers conferred by section 29 of the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act, 2002.

Following these changes, the J&K government directed the immediate closure of private schools established on state land, instructing them to issue school leaving certificates to enrolled students. These students were to be accommodated in nearby government schools, contingent on parental consent.

However, private school proprietors collectively sought relief from the J&K High Court, securing a stay on the government’s order. Despite this legal intervention, the refusal by JKBOSE to accept examination forms from class 10th students in these private schools has jeopardized the academic aspirations of thousands.

Ghulam Nabi Var, President of the Private Schools Association Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK), expressed surprise at the board’s actions and questioned why JKBOSE was not accepting forms when the High Court had issued a stay on the government order. Var highlighted that approximately 2 lakh students, including orphans and underprivileged children, are enrolled in these schools on state land.

Emphasizing the matter’s sub judice nature, Var urged the government to allow students from these schools to participate in the annual board exams, warning that the future of these students is at stake.

The submission of examination forms for class 10th students began on November 29, 2023, but JKBOSE’s refusal to accept them has left students and parents in a state of uncertainty. A JKBOSE official acknowledged the matter’s legal status and indicated that they were not accepting exam forms from students in private schools on state land. The official suggested extending the deadline for form submission but noted that a decision lies with the government.

An official at the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) confirmed the J&K High Court’s stay on the government order but mentioned a lack of communication on the matter from the Administrative Department.

Former Chief Minister of Jammu Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti has critisized the board for its decision. Taking to Twitter, she wrote, “Deeply troubled by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education’s refusal to accept class 10th exam forms from students in private schools established on state land. Disregarding a High Court stay order raises serious questions about fairness & their motives. It seems intentional to jeopardise the future of countless students.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Azadi Times staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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