Srinagar, Jan 10: The government has ordered all the educational institutions and coaching centres to adopt an online mode of education while the concerned Deputy Commissioners (DCs) have been authorised to review the functioning of winter camps and tutorials in government schools in their respective districts.
The State Executive Committee of the Department of Disaster Management Sunday ordered that all colleges, schools, polytechnics, ITIs, and coaching centres for civil services, engineering, or NEET adopt an online medium of teaching.
“There should be no in-person teaching and educational institutions should be permitted to direct attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes only,” the order reads.
The heads of the institutions have been asked to ensure that guidelines related to social distancing and Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) are strictly followed.
In wake of this, the Coaching Centres Association of Kashmir (CCAK) has expressed disappointment over the government’s decision to close the coaching centres in the wake of an increase in COVID cases.
“If there is a slight increase in COVID cases, the education sector becomes the first casualty. We fail to understand why the government seems to be keen to close down the education sector in the wake of even a slight increase in COVID cases,” the CCAK spokesman said
The association said that after closing down schools and education institutes for years, the government had now closed down the only functional classes which were working hard to compensate for the loss of academics to these students.
“Students are paying a heavy price for the current situation as their studies have been heavily affected. As of now, all the activities of life like festivals, business establishments, overcrowded public transport, and rallies go on normally but only academic classes are being targeted,” the association said.
The CCAK spokesman said that the coaching centres were adopting all preventive measures and conducted vaccination of all students besides ensuring CAB.
“Most of our students and entire staff are vaccinated. On one hand, the government is promoting vaccination of students, but on the other hand, has suddenly come up with an order to close down coaching centres,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioners of several districts ordered the closure of offline teaching at winter tutorials and camps in government schools.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Chairman District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Baramulla, Bhupinder Kumar said, “I have asked the Chief Education Officer Baramulla to immediately close offline teaching at winter camps and tutorials and switch to online mode. I decided to avoid any spread of the virus.”
Similar decisions have been taken in district Kupwara as well.
“The government directions apply for private and government tuition centres as well. So I have asked the CEO to close offline teaching at winter camps and tutorials and start classes in online mode,” Chairman DDMA Kupwara, Imam-ud-Din told Greater Kashmir.
The Chief Education Officer (CEO) Budgam has also asked the school heads to wind up offline teaching at winter tutorials and camps.
The decision has been taken in light of fresh COVID guidelines and the directions issued by Chairman DDMA Budgam.
“There should be no in-person teaching in the district. All winter tutorials and camps besides all private coaching centres are hereby closed. Students can be called for vaccination only,” CEO Budgam in a message said.
Meanwhile, the authorities at the University of Kashmir (KU) would convene a meeting on Tuesday to chalk out a strategy for holding the examination.
Registrar KU Nisar Ahmad Mir told Greater Kashmir that the varsity would convene a meeting to decide how to conduct exams of students by managing below 25 people in a room.
“Around 80 percent of the papers of the ongoing exams are over. So we will decide about the left-out papers,” he said.
Mir said that the university had already shifted the remedial classwork besides the IAS, KAS coaching to online mode.
The Cluster University Srinagar (CUS) would continue to hold the ongoing exams in offline mode while restricting only 25 students in a room.
Controller Examination CUS Prof Khurshid Ahmad Mir said, “As such there are no fresh guidelines issued regarding exams. So, we will ensure that only 25 students are accommodated in a room on the day of examination.”