By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: The higher education institutions and higher secondary schools are set to reopen in Jammu and Kashmir.
The government has ordered reopening of 10th and 12th classes for vaccinated students, with 50% capacity on a given day, and it has been made amply clear that unvaccinated students or staff members won’t be allowed to attend the institutions.
A government order issued in this connection states: “Consent shall be obtained from the parents of all students who are willing to attend the school. The premises should be thoroughly sanitized/proper screening regarding vaccination should be done on the school gate. If any student or teacher or other school staffer shows symptoms of cough, cold, or fever, they should not be allowed to enter the school.”
The COVID-19 has hit the student community hard as the educational institutions have remained closed for nearly two years. The online mode of education has helped the students but it has not proved as effective as the physical classes.
A medico while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Effects of COVID-19 third wave are not that visible in Kashmir but we need to be careful and take all the precautions. Reopening of colleges and universities is a big relief for students but they need to follow the COVID-19 sops in letter and spirit. The vaccination holds the key.”
It’s in place to mention here that when the COVID-19 second wave struck in April and May this year, educational institutions had become hotspots. “We need to ensure that it’s not repeated again. To keep the third wave at bay is in our own hands. We cannot become complacent and start believing that Covid won’t resurge again,” said an observer.
He said, “We have to ensure that no community transmission of the virus takes place. It can be done by following the COVID-19 sops in letter and spirit. Reopening of colleges and varsities is a welcome step but the guard cannot be lowered.”
“The authorities should ensure that college timings are staggered to avoid crowding or mixing. It’s not necessary that the classes continue throughout the day. The duration can be reduced and very importantly social distancing norms need to be followed. The government needs to expedite the COVID-19 vaccination drive so that the impeding effects of COVID-19 third wave are minimized. Everyone is hoping that the COVID-19 third wave doesn’t strike and life returns to normal. Education sector has been the worst hit and one hopes that students don’t suffer any more,” the observer added.