High, Higher Secondary schools reopen in Kashmir amid COVID-19 protocol

Srinagar: After remaining closed for about a year due to Coronavirus pandemic, High and Higher Secondary schools reopened on Monday in the summer capital, Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley amid strict COVID-19 guidelines put in place by the government.
The class work in these schools, particularly government institutes, resumed about a fortnight after degree colleges and universities reopened in the Kashmir Division.
Students were being screened at the entrance of their respective schools and only youth wearing face masks were allowed into the premises. Most of the schools have made adequate arrangements for adherence of COVID-19 protocol, including availability of hand sanitizers at the entrances of the institutions.
The educations institutes witnessed partial attendance as most of the schools have applied an odd-even formula which entails having only 50 per cent of students on campus on any given day, as per the government guidelines. However, parents are still skeptical about the preparations made by the schools to keep the students safe from the infection. “School administrations have to rise to the occasion and make all possible arrangements to keep the children safe from COVID-19 by following all guidelines. They can’t pass on the buck to the parents, it is there responsibility,” Nazir Ahmad, a parent, said.
All educational institutes, including schools, colleges and universities, operated barely for two weeks in the 2020 academic session before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a country-wide lockdown bring life to a grinding halt.
Schools, including Girls Higher Secondary School, Nawakadal, Bisco school and Mallinson school, witnessed students maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks while attending the classes. “We are very happy that our regular classes have started after over a year. We have lost a lot in terms of academics in 2019 due to unrest post abrogation of special status of J&K and then in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic,” Ashraf Ganai, a higher secondary school student said.
He said that he is very excited to meet his friends and teachers, whom he hadn’t seen for a very long time. “Besides education, we also missed on extra curricula activities, including sports, which is an important aspect of overall development of a student,” he said.
Ashraf hoped that the current academic session passes off without any problem so that students can work to fulfill their dreams. Similar, views were expressed by other students.
Class work in some higher secondary schools, including Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Kothibagh, didn’t resume in view of SSB examination centres in these educational institutes. Officials said that the physical class work for students from Class 9th to Class 12th resume on Monday in Kashmir division. “Sanitisation of school premises and other precautionary measures have already been taken care of by the Education Department,” they added.
All the educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities, in J&K were closed in March last year in view of COVID-19 outbreak.