New Delhi, Nov 1: Concerned over burning down of several schools in Kashmir, the Centre has asked the Mehbooba Mufti government to check such attempts and make efforts for reopening the schools which have been closed for more than 110 days due to unrest in the Valley.
In a communication, the Home Ministry conveyed to the Jammu and Kashmir government to ensure protection of schools, especially those which are vulnerable to attacks, and make all attempts for reopening all educational institutions across the Valley.
The central government is deeply concerned over the incidents of setting ablaze of schools and worried about the future of the children who are the worst sufferers due to the prolonged turmoil in the state, a senior Home Ministry official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also said to be worried that the closure of educational institutions for such a long period is affecting thousands of students and feels that if schools reopen, it would be a great step towards restoring normalcy in Kashmir, officials said.
At least 26 schools in various parts of the Valley were set ablaze in recent past. The Home Ministry is said to have persuaded the Jammu and Kashmir government to direct the state Board of School Education to notify over 500 schools to conduct regular examinations.
Examinations for Class X will commence from November 15 and will culminate on November 28 while examinations for Class XII will commence from November 14 and will culminate on December 3.
Educational institutions in the Valley are closed since July 9 afer outbreak of clashes and a strike call by separatists following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.
Sources said the assessment of security forces is that radical forces are trying to force children in rural areas to join religious schools or madrassas and not opt for modern education so that youngsters could be radicalised easily.
Amid outrage over increasing number of schools being burnt in the Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court yesterday stepped in, directing police and civil administration to ensure their protection besides unmasking the "mysterious enemies of education" and deal with them with an "iron hand".