Partial reopening of schools in Jammu region from tomorrow, attendance to be voluntary

Partial reopening of schools in Jammu region from tomorrow, attendance to be voluntary
Press Trust of India | Sep 21, 2020 - 9:38 a.m. IST
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JAMMU: All government-run and private schools across Jammu region will reopen partially for higher classes on Monday after six months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, a senior government official said, assuring that all necessary arrangements are in place for the safety of students.

However, she said the attendance of the students would be voluntary and based on the consent of their parents. “We are partially reopening the schools outside containment zones for the students of 9th to 12th classes from tomorrow (Monday) with terms and conditions in accordance with the guidelines of the government,” Director School Education, Jammu zone, Anuradha Gupta told PTI.

She said only 50 per cent teachers would attend their duties as per the prepared roster, while the students of Classes 9 to 12 can attend their classes only after a written consent from their parents or guardian. “If the parents feel confident over the arrangements which have been put in place keeping in mind the threat of coronavirus infection, they can send their children otherwise there is no compulsion for the students to attend their school,” she said.

Fumigation and Sanitisation

Gupta said the department has worked out arrangements with the school management which have undertaken fumigation and sanitisation and will also ensure availability of adequate number of hand sanitisers, face masks and will follow the guidelines issued by the health department besides ensuring social distancing. The school management would also ensure medical help if needed, she said.

The department is also coordinating with the district administration and “we are hopeful that with caution and care, we will be able to overcome all issues”, she added. “Keeping in view the peculiar circumstances (due to COVID-19), we have introduced online and offline methods of education besides community classes in non-containment zones. The blending of offline and online mechanisms is meant to provide options to the students and safeguard their future,” Gupta said.

Meanwhile, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana questioned the rationale behind opening of schools for Classes 9 to 12 at a time when panic-stricken people are wondering how to brave the alarming spike in COVID-19. “The administration is rushing to open the schools from tomorrow, though giving options to parents whether to send their wards to attend the classes or not.

This unwise decision can prove to be counter productive," Rana said in a statement. He sought rescinding of the order for the opening of schools till the anvil of vaccine to fight the virus, saying this is all the more important as the health structure has totally collapsed in Jammu. “The medical facilities are inadequate and children, the future of the nation, cannot be exposed to risk. Keeping this in view, the administration must revisit the decision and take appropriate measures to instil confidence among the people,” he said.

The NC leader said the option of submitting indemnity bonds by the parents, intending to send their children to schools, in itself speaks that the government is not very sure on its decision. “In the larger interest of the student community, the decision about the opening of schools should be deferred and rolled back till the situation normalises,” he said.

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