The Government is mulling to vaccinate all teachers ahead of re-opening of schools in Kashmir.
The J&K government earlier ordered for re-opening of schools in Jammu and Kashmir divisions in a phased manner. The educational institutions in J&K were closed in March last year in wake of the covid19 outbreak.
The order states that the schools in Kashmir division and winter zone areas of Jammu division will open as per their schedule after winter vacations. The schools in Jammu have already resumed classes from February 1.
Talking to the Greater Kashmir, administrative secretary school education department, B K Singh, said they have taken up the matter with the government to vaccinate the teachers.
"We are trying to prioritise vaccination of teachers in all the schools. The matter has been taken up with the government. At least teachers should get vaccinated. The immune system of children is comparatively strong and they are safe unless they don't get infected by any elderly person," Singh said. He said vaccination of teachers will ensure safety of students as well.
About the implementation of the covid19 SOPs in schools, the administrative secretary said the department will ensure implementation of all covid19 guidelines issued by the government.
While the government has ordered the resumption of classes, the space crunch in government schools of rural districts is likely to throw a major challenge for the government to follow covid-19 SOPs particularly maintaining social distance.
"There is an accommodation crunch in some schools but we are looking into it. The students will attend school in staggered manner or in shifts," he said.
Meanwhile, the directorate of school education Kashmir has started an exhaustive exercise for sanitization of government schools across Kashmir ahead of resuming classes after winter vacation comes to end.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik said they will start the sanitization of school premises and classrooms in order to ready the schools from March 1.
The government had announced winter vacation for schools up to higher secondary level from December 21, 2020, to February 28, 2021.
"We have these 25 to 26 days to make all the preparations to reopen schools. The sanitization process will start within two days for which we have already held meetings and workshops with all the stakeholders," Malik said.
The director said they have roped in the health department to ensure proper sanitization of school buildings and campus surroundings.
"We will ensure that no compromise is done in following covid19 SOPs at entry gates of the schools," he said, adding that the school heads will make a proper plan in advance to address the issue of accommodation in schools.
"If there is accommodation problem in schools, then students will be staggered or in case of insufficiency of seating arrangement, then students will be divided in shifts," he said.
He said other SOPS including wearing of masks and using hand sanitizers will be followed properly for the safety of students and teachers.
"We will constitute school level committees of teachers who will ensure proper implementation of covid19 SOPs. We will also go for rationalization of staff wherever needed," he said.