By: Ulfat Riyaz
Kashmir once known as The paradise on earth. Now it has the distinction of being a caged part of the world under different epidemics, for living under accute and severe conditions facing different episodes of trouble and hardships and enormous human rights violations for many decades. That includes a vicious circle of events like comprising torture, disappearances, displacement, assignations, explosions, killings, ballistic trauma, grieving, insecurity, oppression, poverty, uncertainties of career, relationships and etc. Thousands of people have lost their lives and property and thousands have been rendered orphans and widows. Scores have disappeared. None is free to express realities to the world. And those trying to express are being charged under unlawful acts. Frequent internet bans has affected every sphere of life be it a business, communication or education. Life has changed dramatically by Draconian laws and existence.
Now the fear of novel corona virus ,or Covid -19 outbreak has again turned home into a pretty prison as virus gripped, around the globe, and the demon has started wreaked havoc across continents and the fear of death is dancing on streets messages on social media rumors, anxiety and talk shows on Television have added dread to people of Kashmir, who have already been trapped by the conflict.
Above all, the situation has taken toll on the region’s education system at alarming rate and has left it paralyzed. Prior to the Covid 19 whole world was going very smoothly but the saga of Kashmir was still quite different. With the abrogation of Article 35A special status of J&K was snatched. And on 5th of August 2019 the state was under lockdown nearly around eight good months and education system was all shut. There were no classroom activities schools , colleges and universities were closed for a long period of time . High speed Internet is still under siege. Coping with online education on 2G speed is a fun now. Which portrays the quality of our education. Quality education is justified on the basis of academic performance. Our scholars have no access to internet. Today when world is providing online teaching access to students around the world . We are hitting hands and feet to open that Zoom app which our institutions have suggested provided us. Untrained teachers, who aren’t really strange to the internet and online teaching are another headache to the system.
If you fall in this category? You can easily feel the wastage of time, talent potential and energy. If you question yourself, who will bring the time of students back? our academic sessions got betwixt and between neither complete nor incomplete. In accordance let add my friend’s episode. She was ecstatic. When she had finished her application which had taken her months of preparation and planning to complete. All that she awaited was a letter of recommendation from her professor which was due to be sent on the 7th of August. Meanwhile the Internet and communication were snapped across the valley and the range of networks on phones got disappeared which continued to eight months long and her dream to study abroad was put into vain.
Conflicts made vulnerable effect on education and the parents who are making a lot of efforts for aspiring purpose. Who seem to be annoyed because returns meet the cost of unrest and closure of these institutions. Furthermore learning happens to be one of the most powerful thing in life. It allows to find the meaning of life behind everything and helps improve lives in a massive way overall. Education is the platform that makes it possible to defeat all barriers. Unfortunately the education in Kashmir feel ashamed in associating itself to the world scenario of education. The impact of conflict on education is so adverse, that one can not actually put it into words. Our youngsters are facing the worst when it comes to quality education and barriers to information as compared to the students outside Kashmir. Growth and potential are being wasted by disallowing a fair environment to learn and evolve. One of the major challenges of education in situation of conflict is the discontinuities it creates. The impact on student’s academic performance as well as their Psycho–social developments.
Now student are suffering problems of mental health like depression, anxiety trauma and which is increasing with each passing day. We are being betrayed , cheated ,ensnared and lied all through. Our lives are completely shattered. Almost this state has entirely occupied our brains and which left us undecided, what should we do? Only the sufferers can understand how it is to be . Depression is more likely following particular classes of experience, those involving conflict, disruption, losses and experiences of humiliation or entrapment.
World Health Organization has ranked depression as the 3rd among the list of the most urgent health problems worldwide and has predicted it to become number two in terms of disease burden by 2020 overriding diabetes, cancer, arthritis etc. Physical violence may be easier to identify, name and quantify than psychic or symbolic violence so are we. Thus, that all continuously and repeatedly leaving the us unanswered and undecided all our sufferings untreated and unsolved. The scars are deep but hopes are high. So at the end. One cling to God, O God have mercy!
Author Ulfat Riyaz is M.Sc Geography from University of Kashmir
Can be reached at Ulfatriyaz12@gmail.Com