Social distancing goes for a toss in private schools

The social distancing among the students in majority of private schools has gone for a toss as the classes resumed for classes 9th to 12th from March 1.

The students in top schools complained that there was no check on movement of students and their gathering inside the school premises as well as the classrooms.

“The schools did not follow any covid19 precautions and students were roaming in groups inside school premises. There was no strictness on maintaining social distance inside the school campus,” a student complained, adding that the gathering of student groups made others scary as there was no restriction from the school management.

“Some students were cautious and guarded inside the school and were following covid19 SOPs. But some students were making it all scary inside the campus. There were gatherings in the premises without any check from the school management,” the student said.

Complaints were pouring against the private schools from other districts as well wherein the students stated that covid19 SOPs were not being followed in letter and spirit.

Notably, the government earlier ordered for resumption of classwork for all educational institutions in a phased manner. In wake of this, the school education department decided to start classes for class 9th to 12th students from March 1 while the class work of students from primary to middle classes will start from March 8.

“But if the schools are not able to follow the covid19 SOPs, then they should not have taken the decision to resume the classwork,” said a parent.

“The covid19 scare is not gone yet and the government has taken the decision to resume classes. Covid19 cases are still reported from every district of Kashmir. We have to be more careful about the safety of students,” the parent said.

Notably, the majority of private schools have sought consent from the parents for sending their kids to school.

“Students should report at 9:45 am for morning shift and 12:30 pm for second shift. All the students should come in full winter uniform and should mandatorily get a fitness certificate from the medical practitioner,” reads a message issued by one of the leading schools in Srinagar.

The parents have sought intervention of the department and demanded that the students should be called once a week for taking classes.

“It is not the responsibility of the parents alone but the schools should equally share the responsibility of ensuring safety of students during the school hours,” a parent said.

Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik said he will inspect the private schools to check their adherence to covid19 SOPs. “We will take action against the school found violating the SOPs and the guidelines issued by the government,” he said.

He further said he visited some government schools in Khag area of Budgam and other adjoining schools where all covid19 SOPs were being followed properly.

Meanwhile, a teacher has tested positive at a government school in Srinagar.

CEO Srinagar, Manzoor Ahmad, said they have taken up the matter with administration and will collect samples of all teachers for Rapid covid19 test.

“There is nothing to worry about. The school will function normally. Students will also be tested,” he said.