The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) last week issued strict instructions to the educational institutions to follow the COVID-19 SoPs in school transport. However, the move has raised the concern about who will supervise whether the COVID-19 SoPs are followed in the school buses or not. Most of the parents complained that there is no adherence to COVID-19 SoPs in school buses which puts lives of students at risk.
Already, the DSEK had received complaints that some private schools were not adhering to the SOPs in school buses promoting the authorities to issue circular instructions to the schools for adhering to the COVID-19 SoPs while providing school transport to the students.
The department has instructed the schools to ensure that sanitization of school transport facilities is done twice daily— before boarding of students and after deboarding of students.
Also, the driver and conductor of the bus should maintain physical distance at all times and ensure that students are seated by maintaining proper physical distancing protocol.
The department has directed the schools that the buses or vans should be run in shifts (wherever necessary) so as to observe physical distancing of at least 6 feet among the children.
However, most of the parents complained that no physical distance is maintained in the school buses as the students are made to be seated close to each other which pose threat of spread of the Virus.
In violation of the government directions, some schools do not do thermal screening of students besides the driver and the conductor before boarding the school transport.
Given the non-compliance by some of the schools and the concern expressed by the parents, all eyes are on the traffic police department to keep a vigil on these school buses which ferry the students to and from the schools during. The supervision and inspection by traffic police will safeguard the lives of the students and provide a relief to the parents as well.
The frequent checks and inspection by the traffic police will make schools cautious and they will remain guarded to adhere to the COVID-19 SoPs in school transport availed by the students.
The schools resumed the physical classes for the students from Kindergarten to class 12th in a phased manner after winter vacations.