The authorities have once again extended the ongoing closure of schools in J&K. It has been over two years now that educational institutes have been closed in the valley. First due to the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 and then the Covid-19 pandemic. The latter still is a challenge the entire globe faces and closure of schools has been one of its worst fallouts. Several states in India have decided to resume physical classroom activity as Covid-19 cases have decreased post the second wave in the country. While Kargil in Ladakh has decided to reopen schools from September 1 for classes 6 to 8, Delhi too is seeing reopening of schools from Wednesday. In view of the improved Covid-19 situation in the district, the Kargil administration allowed physical classes in schools for students of classes 6 to 8 from tomorrow. Mandatory thermal screening, staggered lunch breaks, alternate seating arrangement in classrooms and avoiding routine guest visits are among the guidelines announced by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for reopening of schools and colleges from September 1. The DDMA has said that students, teachers and other employees living in Covid containment zones will not be allowed to come to schools and colleges. Following a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the national capital, the Delhi government on Friday had announced that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from September 1. UNESCO, the education arm of the United Nations, has reported that at the peak of the outbreak in September 2020, nearly 72 crore children were impacted worldwide. The situation has since improved. But studies show school closures adversely impact children at various levels. According to UNESCO, “schooling provides essential learning, and when schools close, children and youth are deprived of opportunities for growth and development. The disadvantages are disproportionate for underprivileged learners who tend to have fewer educational opportunities beyond school.” UNESCO found that longer closures lead to rising dropout rates as “economic shocks place pressure on children to work and generate income for financially distressed families.” Full re-opening of schools in all states will largely depend on the vaccination drive. But the emergence of new variants of Covid-19 remains a cause of concern. Since their social interaction has been reduced drastically, children have become more restless and finicky. On top of it, schools forcing students to attend online ‘classes’ have had its own negative impact. What was started as a measure to temporarily have an alternative to physical classes has now turned into a necessary evil. Yes, online classes are not at all advisable for the long term but in Kashmir hardly anyone is raising this question. The private schools are sticking to this unhealthy routine with utter shame and at the cost of students’ mental and physical wellbeing. The J&K government needs to address this matter on priority and ensure that physical classroom activity resumes as soon as possible.