ISLAMABAD - The continued lockdown and communications blockade have also affected the students community besides the common people in Indian Held Kashmir.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the Indian government has imposed military siege and communications blackout in the territory when it scrapped its special status and divided it into two Union Territories on August 5th.

On August 2, Mehwish Rafiq, 17, attended her last day at the school where she studied in Class XII. While she is preparing for her dream exam of National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), she is somehow hopeless if she can qualify the exams as this has been a year of loss for education in Occupied Kashmir.

Mehwish appeared for her Board exams in October and November amid tight security around educational institutions as the schools did not open in Kashmir after August 5.

While she appeared for the exams, it was not a normal situation as she had completed only 60 per cent syllabus at school but appeared for 100 per cent during the exams.

“When the date sheet was notified, it was very difficult to prepare for exams when we had not attended school for months together.

I am sure no student in any other part of the country can manage in such circumstances. We are under tremendous mental pressure,” says Mehwish who is now preparing to crack the competitive exam to secure admission in a medical school.

The year 2019 has been a year of academic losses in Kashmir. The students have not attended their classes from August and the three-month-long winter break that was announced from December 10 means that the students will not be able to attend the educational institutions for straight eight months.

The loss has caused a concern among the teachers too.

“It is very hard to survive in a competitive world when students outside are hardworking.

Our students are losing so much of their precious time that we fear what they will do in the future,” said Gowhar Ahmad, a physics lecturer at a private higher secondary school in Srinagar. The absence of Internet facility has put the students in another trauma as they have to apply for scholarships and different competitive exams outside.

It has been more than four months of complete Internet shutdown in Kashmir.

“We have our exams and are struggling for study material because usually, we would download it from the Internet. We have multiple hindrances in our academics,” said another college student Faiqa Aijaz, who is in her final year.