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IN FRAMES: Shields, Masks, Sanitisers – Young students equipped with ‘SMS’ resume classes amid COVID scare

Photos by Umar Ganie –

Srinagar: The schools for primary classes reopened in Kashmir valley on Monday, first time in almost two years.

Kids were seen all excited to go back to schools after probably what will be the longest break of over 20 months, a period that saw two back to back lockdowns in Kashmir, first in the wake of Article 370 abrogation and then the COVID-19 pandemic.

The opening of the schools for primary level were deferred by a week on March 8 when all government and private schools opened albeit in a staggered manner for academic activities for 6th to 8th class students .

The offline classes for K.G to class 5th resumed in most schools today. However some schools have deferred the opening of the K.G classes till next month.The physical classes for 9th to 12th class students resumed on March 1.

Many schools have applied an odd-even formula which entails having only 50% of students on campus on any given day.

Teachers of the elementary classes (up to class 8) were asked to attend the schools from March 1 for preparation while students attended the classes from March 8.

Earlier, colleges opened in Kashmir more than 11 months after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic that had prompted closure of educational institutions across the valley.

Even before the covid-19 forced their closure, the educational institutes remained closed for nearly a year on account of the security and communication clampdown following the revocation of the Article 370 on 5 August 2019.

The educational institutions reopened in summer zone areas of Jammu last month. While the educational institutes for 9 to 12th had started from February 1, the class work for the students of classes 1 to 8 resumed a week later.

In the revised guidelines on COVID containment measures issued in January this year, the administration had allowed schools, colleges, higher educational institutions, technical or skill development institutions to reopen from February 1.

The government has time and again stressed that the notified Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) guidelines shall remain unaltered and shall be followed in “letter and spirit”.