J&K: Power outage forces students to write exam in candlelight

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GR News Desk | Srinagar

Students of Classes X and XII of Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) in the valley are facing a tough time writing their papers in the absence of proper heating and lighting facilities. The situation is so grim that at some exam centres, in parts of Kashmir on Friday, students were provided candles and torches for writing their answers.

“There has been no proper arrangement for students at exam centres. Amid freezing cold on Friday, the windows and doors of rooms were kept open for the natural light to enter as there was no electricity,” said Huda Jan, a Class XII student.

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Students writing exam in the poor light at an exam centre in valley.

The poor conditions were the result of the untimely snowfall in the valley which led to a severe power outage across the region. The power supply lines were damaged at several places and could be repaired only by late Sunday afternoon. At an exam centre in Srinagar, students were given candles in the absence of lighting arrangements. Pictures of students writing their papers under candlelight went viral on social media, inviting severe criticism for JKBOSE and the director of school education, Kashmir. Parents also expressed dismay over poor facilities at exams centres.

On Sunday, the director, school education, Kashmir, launched a helpline number for students for registering their grievances. Dr GN Itoo, director, school education, Kashmir, while admitting there were lighting problems, said the chief education officers and other officials had been asked to make proper arrangements. “On Friday, the staff at exam centres brought candles for students on their own. We have also changed the exam timings so that students can finish their exams early. I went to some exam centres and there will not be any such problem now,” Itoo said When asked about the absence of electricity facilities at some schools, he said the department had received more funds this year and it would be its priority to electrify schools.

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Around 69,000, students are appearing for Class XII exams while 62,000 students are appearing for Classes X exams.