Schools for classes 10, 12 to reopen with 50% capacity

Coaching centres permitted to function with fully vaccinated staff
Schools for classes 10, 12 to reopen with 50% capacity
Students inside a school amid pandemic [File]Mubashir Khan/ GK

Jammu: The J&K government on Sunday permitted classes for 12th standard and coaching centres for Civil Services, Engineering and NEET, with limited in-person teaching, for vaccinated students and staff.

Similarly, the limited in-person teaching of students of 10th class was also allowed yet in their case, the concerned Deputy Commissioners would accord permission to the schools “after due screening through 100 percent Rapid Antigen Test or RT-PCR.”

However, in case of both Class 10 and 12 students, the consent of parents and students would be mandatory for limited in-person teaching, “not exceeding 50 percent on a given day.”

The schools, except for relaxations for students of 12th and 10th classes, would continue to remain closed for on-site/in-person teaching.

The order in this connection was issued today by the Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, who is also the chairperson State Executive Committee (SEC) of J&K Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction.

As per the order, classes for 12th standard would be permitted with “limited in-person teaching not exceeding 50 percent on a given day, for vaccinated students and staff.”

“Consent shall be obtained from the parents of all students who are willing to attend the school. The school premises should be thoroughly sanitized. Proper screening regarding vaccination should be done on the school gate. If any student or teacher or other school staff shows symptoms of cough, cold, or fever, they will not be allowed to enter the school. The Head of the school must ensure that the guidelines related to social distancing and Covid protocols are strictly followed,” the SEC directed.

With regard to class 10 students, it directed that limited in-person teaching of students of 10th class, not exceeding 50 percent on any given day and “after ensuring compliance with Covid Appropriate Behaviour by the school authorities, can be permitted by concerned Deputy Commissioners after due screening through 100 percent Rapid Antigen Test or RT-PCR, subject to consent of parents and students.” The schools would strictly follow Covid related protocols, it added.

For coaching centres, Mehta ordered, “Coaching centres for Civil Services/Engineering/NEET shall be permitted with limited in-person teaching, for fully vaccinated staff and student, subject to condition that the Head of the centre shall ensure that the guidelines related to social distancing and Covid protocols are adhered to.”

All other coaching centres, except them (Coaching centres for Civil Services/Engineering/NEET) would continue to remain closed for onsite or in-person teaching.

Mehta reiterated that higher educational institutions would be permitted to commence limited in-person teaching subject to 100 percent vaccination of staff and students and specific permission of concerned Deputy Commissioners.

“Such institutions can organise special vaccination camps in consultation with district administration. The Head of these institutions must ensure that the guidelines related to social distancing and Covid protocols are adhered to. Educational institutions shall be permitted to direct attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes only,” he further instructed.

Earlier the SEC, in its order on August 22 had stated that the government would consider phased re-opening of institutions where 100 percent vaccination of staff and students had been achieved.

Reiterating that the maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor or outdoor gathering would be restricted to 25, Mehta today ordered that all District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police would ensure its strict compliance.

Mehta, in his order, also directed that night curfew would continue to remain in force in all districts from 8 pm to 7 am. However, there would be no weekend curfew in any district.

“At entry point to UT of J&K at Lakhanpur, mandatory testing for COVID shall be dispensed with for those who have received both doses of vaccine. Entry into parks shall be permitted to vaccinated persons only with due verification,” he reiterated.

The State Executive Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, further ordered that the guidelines or instructions on Covid containment in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir already notified vide Government Orders 35 and 36 — JK (DMRRR) of 2021 dated May 29, 2021 read with Government Orders 65 - JK (DMRRR) of 2021 dated August 29, 2021 would continue to remain in force till further orders.

As per the order, new guidelines for pandemic containment were issued after a detailed review of the current Covid situation in Jammu and Kashmir was conducted by the Chief Secretary, J&K with Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Finance; ACS Health and Medical Education; Principal Secretary Home; Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other officers of Jammu and Kashmir on September 3, 2021.

Review was conducted to assess overall situation pertaining to the spread of Covid-19 in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly focusing on the parameters viz., total weekly new cases (per million), total positivity rate, bed occupancy, case fatality rate, vaccination coverage of targeted population and extent of compliance to Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).

“Whereas it was observed that there’s a need to continue with the existing Covid containment measures in all districts in view of the uneven trend observed in the daily cases,” SEC noted.

It asserted that all Deputy Commissioners would intensify testing by making optimum use of available RT-PCR and RAT capacities. There would be no drop in testing levels.

“The Deputy Commissioners shall also focus on the positivity rates of the medical-blocks under their jurisdictions. Intensified measures, related to Covid management and restriction of activities, shall be undertaken by the DCs in these blocks. There shall be renewed focus on Panchayat level mapping of cases and effective micro-containment zones shall be constituted wherever unusual spike of cases is noticed. # Effectiveness of micro containment zones shall be decided on the basis of the number of cases reported from such zones. # DCs shall keep active track of the positivity rates in blocks and consider implementing stricter control measures in closed clustered spaces like public/private offices, community halls, malls, bazaars etc., in case weekly positivity rate goes beyond 4 percent in these blocks,” SEC reiterated.

SEC directed that the three – “T” protocols of testing, tracking and treating, besides vaccination, needed to be strengthened in these blocks. “The proportion of RT-PCR tests in the total mix should be scaled up, on a best effort basis, to 70 percent or more, excluding travellers. The vaccination drive in districts with higher numbers of cases shall be given special attention and monitored on a daily basis by concerned Divisional Commissioners to at least double the vaccination rate,” it added.

Intensive vaccination drive shall be taken up in all districts to ensure timely administration of second dose besides maximizing first dose to vulnerable groups. Positive cases detected as a result of intensive testing need to be isolated or quarantined at the earliest and their contacts should also be traced at the earliest, and similarly isolated or quarantined and tested if needed,” it instructed.

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