Pattan: Schools in Kashmir Valley were abuzz as offline classes for students resumed in government and private schools on Wednesday after a gap of nearly two and half years.
Students dressed in uniforms and wearing masks marked a remarkable delight for them as well as the parents.
After a long hiatus due to covid-19 pandemic and curbs on account of 5 August 2019 decisions, the students re-united with friends, giving educational institutions a joyful ambience. Merriment was writ large on faces of the parents and onlookers alike as return of students to schools filled the air with great fun and excitement.
The students are required to wear face masks, their body temperatures were checked with thermal scanners and sanitisers were applied on their hands as they entered the schools.
The government on Sunday made wearing masks mandatory for the students coming to the educational institutions.
“Regarding the offline mode of teaching for other classes in all Schools of J&K, the Heads of Institutions shall be responsible for adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour in their respective schools and prepare proper plans for the same,” reads an order by the Jammu and Kashmir State Executive Committee headed by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, issued on February 27. “Symptomatic students should not be allowed to attend school. No student should be allowed to attend School without a mask,” the order reads.
All the students coming to attend regular offline classes in the Universities, Colleges, Polytechnics, ITIs, etc. are required to carry a vaccination certificate with them. “The Heads of the institutions must ensure that guidelines related to social distancing and Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) are strictly followed including regular screening at the entrance of the Institution,” the order said, adding, “They shall also screen any symptomatic student and ensure his/her testing to contain any possibility of spread of the virus in their institutions.
The schools have remained closed in Jammu and Kashmir more than in any part of the globe. While the pandemic forced the closure of educational institutions in mid-March in 2020 when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic around the world, the schools, colleges and universities had reopened after seven-month closure in the wake of the revocation of Article 370 on 5 August 2019.
Even when reopened, attendance at educational institutions remained voluntary as the guidelines by the government of India provided that parents can decide what their wards should do. Most parents gave consent and school resumption seemed uninterrupted until covid-19 announced an unpleasant return.