Teachers continue to test positive

Teachers continue to test positive
GK File/Aman Farooq

Amid the government decision to have 50 percent attendance of staff in educational institutions, teachers in schools and colleges continue to test positive for COVID-19.

The move has caused uneasiness among the teaching staff of the schools and degree colleges attending their institutions.

Notably the government has switched to online mode of education in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in J&K.

However, the teachers in schools and colleges have been asked to attend their respective institutions with 50 percent attendance on a rotational basis.

"Whether there will be 100 percent attendance or 50 percent attendance, it won't make any difference as in both the cases the teachers travel in public transport wherein we are completely at risk of contracting the virus," said an assistant professor from Bandipora district.

In view of the major spike in COVID-19 positive cases and several deaths reported in the past few days, the J&K government closed public parks and increased two hour duration in night curfew.

The decision was taken to discourage the unnecessary gatherings outside and to prevent further spread of the virus.

"But the teachers are bringing the virus home as they are made to attend the empty schools," an official said and voiced concern over the physical attendance of teachers in schools and colleges.

"The school and college teachers did a tremendous job last year while holding online classes. The government should reconsider its decision and let the teachers deliver online classes from home like last year. It will discourage unnecessary rush in public transport and prevent the spread of virus," he said.

Since last week, several faculty members from colleges in Bandipora district tested positive for COVID-19.

"The faculty has been home quarantined and kept in isolation," an official said.

The teachers complained that moving out in public transport not only poses risk to their lives but also to their family members.

"We fail to understand that if physical attendance of teachers is avoidable why we are being forced to attend the schools to deliver online classes which we can do from our residences as well," a school teacher said.

The administration of the University of Kashmir (KU) and the Jammu University (JU) has also shifted to online mode of education and made the attendance of teaching staff on the campuses not mandatory.

"When university professors can deliver online lectures from their residences why not school or college teachers?" a school teacher said.

The doctors have also voiced their concern over physical attendance of teachers in schools amid the surge in COVID-19 positive cases.

Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev RaiBhatnagar earlier said that the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) takes decision on all such matters.

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