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FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL: Of hugs, tears and endless chatter

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Srinagar, Feb 24: Donning spick-and-span school uniform with identity card dangling down her neck, Zainab, a 3rd standard student, could not hide her excitement to meet her friends after six months hiatus.

No sooner the bus arrived, her eyes gleamed with happiness and she let go of her father’s hand to start her journey. Running through the aisle, she stopped near her friend’s seat and held her in embrace. It was an emotional reunion of two friends. Tears rolled down as fellow students and teachers watched them reliving their memories of almost seven months.

 

“I have not seen my classmates for the last many days. I did not even have phone contact with them,” Zainab exclaimed with joy.

Zainab’s father, Basharat Ahmad said she was eagerly waiting for Monday to join school and meet her friends. “We hope 2020 will prove productive for students,” he said

Schools across the valley reopened on Monday after remaining shut for nearly seven months following the abrogation of Article 370. Though the government had later ordered reopening of schools in a phased manner, it proved a nonstarter with students preferring to stay home

Nyla Ishtiaq, a teacher at reputed missionary school in Srinagar said they had given a new makeover to the classrooms to welcome the students “We have given a new makeover to classrooms. We decorated walls with charts so that the students should feel enthusiastic about coming to school after almost seven months,” she said.

Director School Education Kashmir, Dr Younis Malik said attendance rate of students was high across the valley.

“Students were excited about their schools. I visited some middle and higher secondary schools in Shopian and other snowbound areas and was pleased to see that teachers and students were passionate to meet after a long break,” Dr Younis said.

During the day, Dr Malik visited various schools of south and central Kashmir and expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements put in place for the resumption of academic activities in the educational institutions.

He was accompanied by District Development Commissioner Shopian, Choudary Mohammad Yaseen and Chief Education Officer Shopian Mohammad Mushtaq.

The Director visited Government HSS Heerpora, Shopian, Girls HSS Shopian and BHS Shopian.

Interacting with the students, he urged them to focus on their studies, work for the betterment of their future and for welfare of the Society.

The Director also interacted with the teachers and emphasized upon them to work with dedication. He asked the Heads of the Institutions to maintain cleanliness in their institutions.