Education On Fire

Rameez Makhdoomi

(Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela)
Schools are cradles of civilizations. School education lays the foundation stone in building the personality of a person. The growth and future of any  country highly depends upon health of its Schooling system. The knowledge learned in school plays a major role in peoples’ daily lives. …School is also important for developing important social skills.

Unfortunately in Kashmir on account of political turmoil spanning over past three decades the very schools have had to bear  the worst brunt.

More than 20 mostly Government schools in Kashmir have been burned in a wave of arson attacks over the past four months of unrest and agitation – with the arson incidents being blamed on unknown miscreants.

On the otherhand, according to local media reports Government has reportedly assigned the job of securing schools in Kulgam district to teachers and asked them to spent nights in their respective schools to thwart attacks by miscreants .Pertinently, the move  has however infuriated the teachers who accused the government of making them a soft target of the attacker.

Importantly, these continuous dastardly acts of burning schools in Kashmir are paining one and all. In an official statement, education minister and government spokesman, Naeem Akhtar lamented that the damage to schools is not just burning of an institution but a “colossal loss for the entire society”. “During the last few months Kashmir has gone through a bad phase which has caused pain to everybody,” he said.

Sometime back, Officials of the directorate of school education stated  that 17 government middle, high and higher secondary schools have been burnt mysteriously during the unrest. Of these, seven were reduced to ashes while 10 were damaged partially in the fire.Besides the 17 government schools, two prominent private schools were also been damaged in fires, But since these days more schools have been burnt down.

Most of the schools have been burnt in the dead of the night by unknown ‘miscreants’.

While talking to News Kashmir, Bilal Bashir Bhat, a young activist and Journalist stated – “ Schools are building blocks of every civilized nation of the world. We cannot think of a tolerant, educated, peaceful, civilized world without schools. The burning of schools has a direct negative impact on the right of children to realise their right to basic education. This heinous act clearly undermines the basic right of our children to education. Miscreants burning schools should be identified and handed exemplary punishment.”

Sadly, on Thursday 28 th October, the news of arson attack on two more schools- one at Pattan in North Kashmir, other at Khag area of Budgam in Central Kashmir came, with masses urging on the law enforcement agencies to nab the heinous forces behind burning of schools.


Certainly, arson is  the  big  issue which is plaguing the present and  future of education in Kashmir these days.