Srinagar, Sep 15: The government mulling to reopen the schools for class 9th to 12th from September 21 onwards in Jammu and Kashmir has stirred the hornet’s nest.
It’s in place to mention here that on August 29, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines for Unlock 4 and allowed the partial reopening of schools from September 21 onwards.
“Students will be permitted to go to school only with prior written consent from parents and only 50 percent of the teaching and non-teaching staff will be called in,” the guidelines read.
The health ministry had noted that teacher-students interaction must be organized in a staggered manner. Even for guidance, all senior students will not report to school together. Guidance activities will be staggered with students being allocated specific time for reporting, it said.
A parent while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “We are also hearing that schools may reopen within one week. But the big question is whether the parents will send their children to schools or not.”
He said that during the past eight days J&K has been reporting more than 1200 COVID-19 positive cases in a day. “I don’t think that parents will put the lives of their children at stake amidst the ongoing pandemic,” the parent added.
Another parent said, “Many of us believe that we can’t send children to schools till the COVID cure comes. The government should reconsider its decision to reopen the schools at this point of time.”
An official said that they have received instructions from the top and arrangements are being put in place to make schools functional with 50% staff and student strength. However, he was quick to add that students have to get written consent from their parents.
A medico said, “Reopening schools at this point of time is not a good idea. The schools can become COVID hotpots. The educational institutions should not be reopened till the vaccine comes. We have to protect the children at any cost.”
He said, “Everyone is aware of the fact that even the elders are not following the COVID-19 norms, so how can we expect children to follow SOPs and take precautions? Parents sending children to schools on their own risk and responsibility looks impossible.”
The medico said, “Hospitals in Kashmir are crowded and thousands of people in the Valley are under isolation in their homes. Situation continues to be grim as the virus is in the air.”