COVID cases in Kashmir schools send parents into a tizzy

The surge in covid19 cases in educational institutions over past few days has sent the parents into a tizzy as most of the schools are allegedly not following required precautions.

The schools have allegedly been found violating the basic guidelines on wearing of facemasks, maintaining of social distance, etc. in the school premises. Most of the schools are allegedly allowing gathering of students for morning assembly.

“No concern is shown by schools for the safety of students. The situation is not normal as covid19

positive cases are still being reported,” an official said.

The schools resumed physical mode of education for 9th to 12th classes from March 1.

As already reported, an employee of a government high school in Srinagar, and seven staff members of a leading private school have tested covid19 positive.

In the wake of the covid19 positive cases being reported from schools, the parents have become apprehensive about the safety of their children.

“Either the government should ensure that schools follow covid19 SOPs in letter and spirit or else they should be closed again,” said Muhammad Ayub, a parent from Srinagar. He suggested that any school found violating the covid19 SOPs be put to task.

Notably, the government had earlier stated that it has prioritized vaccination of teachers in schools. But so far no teacher has been vaccinated.

Administrative secretary, School Education Department, B K Singh said that the government has given clear cut directions to the schools to avoid all such activities in which they could not maintain social distance. “Although we have opened schools, it doesn’t mean that situation (in regard to covid19) has normalized,” Singh said.

“We cannot keep schools closed forever but at the same time we have to remain guarded and understand that we have to take all precautionary measures as well,” he added.

On the vaccination of the teachers, he said the matter had already been taken up with the J&K administration. “Everything related to vaccination comes from health ministry of government of India. So everything is not in our hands; but I understand there is a necessity to go for vaccination of all teachers in the schools,” he said, adding that the private schools could have managed antigen tests of teachers. “They have funds available with them and should have done it for the safety of students as well as teachers,” he said.

About the reports of covid19 positive cases in schools he said the government is taking feedback and monitoring the situation. “We are aware about these cases and are keeping a vigil on the situation,” he said.