Proposed reopening of schools | Govt to consult parents, sarpanchs and 'stakeholders'

The government has asked the school education department to hold deliberations with the heads of the schools, sarpanchs and other stakeholders for proposed reopening of the educational institutions in J&K.

The directions have come in the wake of a DO by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the J&K government seeking its feedback on the proposed reopening of the educational institutions.

The MHA has asked all state and UT governments to send feedback within a week so that final decision is taken on the matter.

Meanwhile, Lt Governor’s Advisor, K K Sharma who heads the education department, has issued the instructions to the departments of school education, higher education and technical education to hold “wider consultation” at the institution-level with the parents and other stakeholders.

The directors of the school education department through CEOs and ZEOs shall consult the institution heads, sarpanchs, gram panchayats, municipalities, and provide feedback on the proposed reopening of school in each educational zone, the order said.

The officials have been asked to submit a comprehensive report on the issue along with the view of the director school education by June 7.

“The administrative department shall analyze the feedback of ZEOs and CEOs and provide recommendations accordingly for reopening of the schools,” the order reads.

Pertinently, the department of school education had earlier asked the school heads to put in place all precautionary measures as the government intended to reopen the schools from mid-June. However, the department faced criticism from parents and other stakeholders for proposed reopening of the schools from mid-June.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Dr Jitendra Singh has asked the J&K government to defer plans for reopening of schools.

Singh has also asked the J&K government to defer collection of vehicle registration tax.

“Have spoken to #JammuAndKashmir UT Government and suggested that decisions regarding 1) Vehicle Registration Tax and 2) Reopening of schools may be deferred,” Dr Jitendra Singh tweeted.

Former chairperson J&K State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi has also written to Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu to withdraw the circular issued on June 1 for reopening of schools “so that the parents and students across J&K may heave a sigh of relief”.

Meanwhile, in wake of the government directions, the director colleges J&K have written to all the Government Degree College (GDC) Principals to hold wider consultations at their respective institutional level with parents and other stakeholders and submit a report  with recommendation to the respective nodal Principals by June 05.

“The respective nodal principals, on basis of the reports received from the college Principals of their respective divisions prepare a report for submission to this office by June 6 for further consolidation and onward presentation to the administrative department,” reads the letter.