Reopening schools amidst pandemic: Bizarre move can put children at risk

Reopening schools amidst pandemic: Bizarre move can put children at risk


Afaq Bhat
Srinagar, June 2:
The Education Department mulling to reopen the educational institutions amidst pandemic  after June 15 in Jammu and Kashmir has agitated the parents, who believe such a move can put their children at risk.
The order issued by the department to make preparations for reopening the schools went viral on the social media on Tuesday and it evoked sharp reactions from every section of the society.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The educational institutions in J&K were closed when not a single case of COVID-19 was reported in the UT and only apprehension was there that the virus may spread and the children could be the worst affected. Today when more than 100 cases are reported on daily basis, the Education Department is fiddling with the idea of reopening the schools.” He said, “The order directing the concerned to acquire sanitizers and masks in bulk surprised everyone. Helmsmen should apply their mind rather than rushing with the decision. They need to understand that sanitizers and masks are no vaccines. They need to wait till the COVID-19 curve flattens and number of positive cases start to decline. No parent at this point of time would like to put his children at risk. All of us are aware of the fact that it’s difficult for the children to maintain social distancing. The children are children. They are no adults.”
An observer said, “When entire world is shifting to the online mode for education, the helmsmen in J&K want to go in an opposite direction. Rather than consolidating the infrastructure for e-learning they want bring children out of their homes and expose them to the COVID-19 virus which is refusing to go.”
He said, “It seems that the Education Department has been unable to make the idea of e-learning work. Now it’s looking for ways to somehow coverup its failures. But no one in J&K would like to put the lives of their children at stake to bail out the Education Department.”
Another analyst said, “The countries which were hit by the COVID-19 and have succeeded in flattening the curve have asked the students to study online till the vaccine appears in the market. J&K is the only place in the world where the idea of reopening the schools has cropped up. One fails to understand why the Education Department is in a hurry and what it wants to prove by giving such suggestions, which have no takers.”