By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: As the COVID-19 cases are on decline in Jammu and Kashmir, parents are waiting for the schools for lower classes to reopen as the education of children has been the worst victim of pandemic.
It’s in place to mention here that higher educational institutions, i.e. colleges and universities have reopened and offline classes for 10th and 12th have commenced but schools for lower classes are yet to reopen.
A parent while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Many of us were hoping that the schools will reopen as all the activities have resumed but it seems that children will have to wait at least in urban areas. In rural Kashmir community classes have commenced and children are attending these on regular basis but in the urban areas school continue to remain shut.”
He said, “The Autumn has set in and winter is approaching. It seems our children won’t get a chance to attend the schools this year also. The COVID-19 has hit the education sector hard. Many private schools have winded up their institutions permanently. The online mode of education has tried to fill in the void but it has not been that effective. The children are missing the classrooms and the physical presence of the teachers.”
A principal of a private school said, “We don’t see schools reopening this year. It seems that we will have to wait till March. One hopes by then vaccines for children get approved, so that they can return to the schools without any fear.”
He said, “The resumption of normal activities is good sign but it appears that children will have to wait as the experience during the second COVID-19 wave was bitter. The schools turned into COVID-19 hotspots and many cases were reported in the educational institutions. It seems government doesn’t want to take any chances.”
The principal said that big private schools have not laid off the staff and have tried to keep everything intact but small institutions have not been able to survive. “Many small schools, crèches for toddlers have simply pulled down the shutters and called it a day. The government needs to do something about making these institutions functional again as these small schools used to cater to a huge population,” the principal added.
A private school teacher said, “Many of my colleagues lost their jobs due to pandemic. One hopes that once the schools reopen they will get their jobs back.”