Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmir’s 121-yr-old missionary school faces closure over lack of land lease documents

St Joseph's Higher Secondary School in Baramulla.

Srinagar: St Joseph’s Higher Secondary School in Baramulla, one of the oldest missionary schools in Kashmir, is on the brink of closure as authorities have refused to register students for board examinations due to the absence of land lease documents, PTI reported.

Established in 1903, the school operates on state land in Baramulla district, and the land lease had expired in 2018. The report said school management applied for the renewal of the lease, but the file has been pending clearance in the office of the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir since 2022.

Despite their efforts, the school management claims that they have not received any resolution and even approached the office of the Lieutenant Governor for intervention, which did not yield any relief.

The Board of School Education has consequently denied registration for board examinations for students in classes 9, 10, 11, and 12. The school has informed parents about the situation and advised them to consider the future of their children in light of this registration refusal, the news agency said.

Last year, authorities in Jammu and Kashmir decided not to register students of private schools operating illegally from state land for board examinations.

The Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) expressed deep concern and disappointment over this development, stating that the denial of registration to students at St Joseph School Baramulla, an institution with a century-long legacy, has sent shockwaves through the entire education community in Kashmir.

The association urged authorities to understand the gravity of the situation, emphasising that the impact of this decision could extend far beyond individual students and potentially lead to the closure of numerous private schools in the valley, affecting the livelihoods of thousands of teachers and school staff.

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