January 2019 News

South Kashmir Students Defy Violence, Shine In Class X Exams

6 January 2019
The Tribune
Rifat Mohidin

Srinagar: Despite over two months of disturbances, frequent clashes, encounters, closure of schools and internet blockade, Pulwama district of south Kashmir has topped the Class X board exams in the Valley with an overall pass percentage of 84. It is followed by Shopian district, where the overall pass percentage is 83. Mehnoor Yusuf, 16, from Bonigam village in Shopian district secured 98 per cent in Class X exams, the results of which were declared recently. She aspires to become a civil servant and serve in Kashmir. A student of Shahi Hamdan School in Batpora, Shopian, Mehnoor says the last year had been full of challenges and the frequent turmoil would upset her study schedule, but she remained focused. 'Every two days, there would be clashes and gunfights, but I tried to concentrate on my studies. Though we all were impacted by the situation, we studied and gave out best,' says Mehnoor, who is preparing for the National Eligibility Entrance Test. Mehnoor says they could not attend school regularly last year and it was due to her own efforts that she was able to get good marks. More than 80 per cent students passed the Class X exams in the volatile districts of Pulwama and Shopian. The two districts fared better than the other relatively peaceful districts of Kashmir. A student from the Newa area of Pulwama, Arif Mushtaq, says it was due to the effort of his teachers that he was able to secure 95 per cent in the Class X exams. 'We were able to attend classes for only two days a week due to the situation but our teachers taught us at their homes. I am thankful to them,' says Arif, a student of New Mary Land School in Pulwama. Mehvish Jan from Pulwama secured 96 per cent marks and gives the credit to her family and teachers for her success. 'Our mind was always disturbed. Anytime a gunfight would start and the school had to be shut, sometimes even for five days. We did not study in a normal situation. We had to do self-study most of the times but we did not give up,' Mehvish said. In 2018, at least 90 days were lost to shutdowns and violence in Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian as most of the militants were killed in the three districts.