In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless, and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Covid resurgence: Parents send SOS to government, seek closure of schools in Kashmir

FILE PHOTO: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Unnerved by the spike in Covid-19 cases, parents have sent an SOS to the government seeking closure of schools to prevent the spread of infection among the children.

In the last few days, at least 50 students and teachers have tested positive for COVID 19 in Kashmir. They include 36 students in a private school in Kulgam district and 14 in a government school in Anantnag. 

Parents Association of Privately Administered Schools (PAPAS) on Friday visited the office of  Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, demanding to shut down schools till normalcy returns in Kashmir.

“Today we visited Deputy Commissioner’s office. We met Additional deputy Commissioner and told him that the lives of our children are in danger,” said Asma Goni, convenor of PAPAS.

Asma said she has been receiving SOS calls from parents after the spike in the cases.

“Administration doesn’t want to take responsibility, nor does the schools. We have already lost many lives and don’t want our children to get infected. There is a huge spike in cases and school children are getting infected. 4G services have been restored and the government should take a mature decision to allow online classes,” she said.

 Asma alleged that many schools in Kashmir were forcing children to attend physical classes. “On one hand administration claims to do away with pen and paper exams and on the other hand schools force children to attend classes. Not just children, we have elderly people in our homes who have higher chances of getting infected if schools are not closed,” she said.

Since the surge in Covid cases, many parents have not sent their children to schools or tuition centers.

Parents whose children tested positive also demand the online mode to be continued for some more time. “My child who is just 8-year-old tested positive after complaining of fever and cold.  School kids have a higher probability of getting infected. The government should focus on online classes till the entire population is vaccinated,” said a parent from Kulgam.

  After remaining closed for more than 20 months, schools opened in Kashmir in a staggered manner from March 1.  The government had deferred the opening of primary classes till March 15 after some students tested positive. Colleges opened on February 15 across the UT.