Srinagar: Expressing concern over stalemate on the issue of deferment of board examinations, Opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah today suggested the PDP-led government to hold talks with the students and not make the matter a "point of prestige".
"The state government should talk to the students with an open mind instead of tormenting them. It should desist from making the issue of holding examinations a point of prestige," the NC working president said after meeting various delegations of young students at his residence here.
The former chief minister said the students who are in their crucial classes deserve "every bit of our empathy and moral support".
"The young students are the worst victims of uncertainty and turmoil as a break in their academic pursuits at this junction has a direct bearing on their careers. Unfortunately, the state government has chosen to browbeat and intimidate the students into complying with their stand on holding the examinations on time despite the loss of almost four months of in-class studies and tutorials (due to the ongoing unrest)," he said.
Omar said the current unrest has affected "our children psychologically" and the "government's insensitivity is only worsening their plight".
The NC working president said the students have a fair point in questioning the rationality and fairness of the government holding examinations on time when only around 80 school working days could be conducted as opposed to a minimum standard of around 180 days of an academic year.
"The students have not been able to complete their prescribed syllabi as both their schools as well as tutorial classes have been shut and suspended for almost four months now. The curriculum covered in 10th and 12th standards forms the basis of the curriculum for professional entrance examinations and hence the government's offer of curtailing the curriculum covered in these examinations makes no sense and will affect their performance in the entrance examinations," Omar said.
He alleged while the government is watching as a "mute and helpless spectator" to the burning of schools, their arrogance on the issue of examinations is "baffling if not out rightly ridiculous".
"When you cannot protect the public education infrastructure in the state, your misplaced sense of confidence in forcing examinations on the students is absurd. The government cannot absolve itself of the responsibility of safeguarding the public education infrastructure in the state and the safety of our schools, our teachers and our students has to be ensured at all costs," he added.