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Education, Conflict, and Kashmir

Lockdowns and curfews were imposed around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it halted the education of almost everyone in one way or another. But Kashmir was under a strict curfew before the pandemic hit the world. The situation in Kashmir has always been volatile, and it has impacted education, especially in the areas with more and continuous conflict. However, after the Indian government revoked Article 370, it imposed an all-out curfew in Kashmir. According to the reports that surfaced on news channels and social media, Schools, offices, mosques, marketplaces, and all other places were closed, and police/army officers were deployed everywhere.


The world moved to a virtual mode of learning and teaching; however, the phone service in Kashmir was down, and it was cut off from the outside world. This ruled out the option to have online education. Even when phone services were recovered after several months, the internet connection in Kashmir was 2G, whereas a 4G internet connection is required for videoconferencing. In this situation, the only form of online education was through WhatsApp.


This was the general situation during the past couple of years, but the education system in Kashmir has long been deficient. The violent conflicts, the resistance movements, attacks on borders from both sides, indoctrination, and lack of infrastructure and resources have led to lower literacy rates and willingness to attend school. Students often join rallies and groups to resist the government or the ‘occupation’ and, as a result, do not remain interested in getting an education.


Teachers are paid significantly low salaries. Students and teachers have mental distress and need psychological support, which is not available. The job prospects of Kashmiri students are also not very satisfactory, and this is another primary reason for the students dropping out of school.


Gender is another layer in this story because girls’ education gets impacted more than that of boys. This is where cultural norms and understandings come in since girls’ education is not considered necessary. In such a violent and dangerous situation, their going to school is considered unsafe and unnecessary.

All these factors and reasons have resulted in a poor and inadequate education system in Kashmir. This is a clear example of how conflict impacts education.



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16 Comments


Iman Asif
Iman Asif
Dec 10, 2022

The on-going conflict in Kashmir has negatively impacted education and the situation worsened during the pandemic as highlighted by this post. This post sheds lights on all the factors that impact education in the region. Since online learning is not an option, foreign intervention is required where organizations like the UNICEF can step in and bring in policies that further education in the province. Additionally, the community can join hands and formulate informal ways of learning so that education continues in some way.

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Amidst covid crisis are so relatable to even the freshman year online classes at LUMS. we could easily observe our fellows from far flung rural areas of balochistan, sindh and punjab having turbulance in coping up with online studies. If the issues were this uncompromising here, the vulnerability would have been unrationable in a colonizalied conflicted area: kashmir. However, the question here to ask is that would it be appropriate to say that pandemic was just an addition to the already existing vulnerable condition in kashmir or did, pandemic on its own, brought new educational challanges to a conflicted area?

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I think it was very important that you highlighted how students in Kashmir suffered due to lack of internet resources. The slow network speed would have definitely hampered their experience of online classes and delivery of assignments. The Private Schools Association Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) filed a petition in the Supreme Court contending that the lack of 4G connectivity for internet in Jammu and Kashmir was infringing the fundamental right to education. What's necessary to acknowledge is that whenever there is a crisis, some groups or communities suffer disproportionately compared to other privileged groups. Thus, it is important to ensure that their needs are being acknowledged and supported in times of conflict or crisis.

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thank you for sharing this information! Kashmir is a region with a history of conflict. But with multiple economic benefits to India, it has not been provided enough resources or infrastructure for its people. the fact that there was no 4G internet in Kashmir is appalling. Kashmir is not just a minor tourist attraction place but is home to millions of people and is a vast region. The implementation of an inhumane lockdown and, on top of that, no facilities for online education either is not any minor issue.

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Great Post. The J&K insurgency significantly harmed young people's educational opportunities. The schools were either shuttered during the early half of the 1990s or the access routes were blocked. Students were unable to attend class even when it was open because to frequent cordon and search operations, crackdowns, or strikes. The youth were involved in the 1990s insurgency and militant activities as a result of the late 1980s gun culture. During the uprising, numerous educational structures, including schools, colleges, and other learning facilities, were set on fire. The worst hit sector of the insurgency was education, at all levels. The system of schooling failed. Many buildings belonging to universities, colleges, and institutions were destroyed by fire. During the height of…

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the argument about youth's involvement in such violent acts is very important to understand the ground realities and issues with the education system. with the given facilities, resources, quality, and infrastructure for the education in Kashmir, as mentioned in my post, the youth gets involved in illegal, terrorist, or other sorts of violent activities. this can be seen as a consequence and also a cause for further deterioration of the education situation.

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Shelling along the Pakistan-India border has created significant interruptions in schooling in both nations. Heavy bombardment by Indian troops on the Sialkot border villages in the Charwar sector in 2014 forced the closure of 120 government schools and heightened levels of anxiety and misery among local residents. Further turmoil in 2016 forced the closure of approximately 300 schools in Indian communities in the Jammu, Samba, and Kathua districts, all of which are within 2.5 kilometers of the border. The order was issued after intense bombardment by Pakistani troops in the region, which resulted in the deaths of 14 civilians.

School closures and violence have sparked student uprisings and demonstrations, as Kashmiri youngsters see their education jeopardized and militarized. In April…


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the situation in Kashmir has always been violent and dangerous, but different ways to promote education had been placed. however, the complete lockdown imposed after revoking article 370 brought a whole new challenge to the educational system since there was no way to continue schooling. there are not enough facilities available or accessible for online education for ordinary Kashmiris either. and in such circumstances, the loss to the mechanism of education was definitely a huge one.

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