File Photo (KM/Umar Ganie)

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government is intending to re-open schools from mid-June and has directed concerned authorities to buy adequate number of masks, gloves, sanitisers, and soaps for students and staff.

In this regard, Director Finance, School Education Department has written a letter to Directors School Education, Kashmir and Jammu asking them to ensure that the safety measures are put in place.

 “As Government intends to re-open schools in mid of June 2020. I am directed to convey to ensure safety measures in all government schools to arrest the spread of Corona Virus to students and staff therein,” reads the letter, a copy of which lies with The Kashmir Monitor.

“In this connection, necessary instructions may be circulated to heads of all government schools to provide a pair of reusable masks and a pair of hand gloves to every student and ensure availability of one thousand (1000) ml bulk Hand Sanitizers and 1200 ml Liquid Soap with dispenser at the entry point to each Government school,” it reads.

The letter says the money spent on buying these items shall be debited to Samagra Grants released to all institutions for day to day expenses.

At per official figures, around 10 lakh students in J&K study in government schools, which means the authorities have to place huge orders to be able to provide a mask, and a pair of gloves to each student.

Earlier as reported by The Kashmir monitor, the education department had said it was planning to reopen schools from the first week of June.

However, later the government said opening the schools could be risky given the spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Opening of schools involves a bigger risk. We are planning to hold a meeting with the Lieutenant Governor and district magistrates of all the ten districts of the valley over the reopening of schools. After their feedback, we will take a final decision,” Principal Secretary to Government, School Education department, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon told The Kashmir Monitor on May 28.

While Samoon was not available for fresh comments, Director, School Education Kashmir, Dr Younis Malik confirmed his office has received the letter from Director Finance asking them to make all the arrangements for re-opening of schools by mid-June in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We will follow the government’s instructions and direct all school heads to keep the arrangements in place,” he added.

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