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Schools reopening: Despite Covid fears, 80 % students attend classes in Kashmir

Srinagar: COVID fears notwithstanding, nearly 80 per cent students have attended schools in Kashmir since March 1. 

School authorities expect the attendance to improve further from next week if the Valley does not see any major spurt in Covid-19 positive cases.

“We are taking the necessary Covid related precautions due to which schools are opening in a phased manner. Out of the students asked to attend classes, the schools by and large witnessed an overall attendance of 70 to 80 percent,” Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) president GN Var told The Kashmir Monitor.

He said they were expecting the attendance to improve further from next week.

“Around 10 to 20 per cent students are reluctant to come as we cannot ignore the overall Covid situation. However, we are expecting that attendance will improve from next week. And in the coming weeks, we can also assess the further situation and how to go about,” said Var.

However, Asma Goni, Convener of the Parents Association of Privately Administered Schools (PAPAS), said several parents were reluctant to send children to school. She also said it was difficult to keep children at home for parents when others were sending their wards to school.

 “Parents in our group by and large feel it is not the right time to go to school especially for students up to class VIII. Covid has not ended and that the vaccination process is not over. Several parents do not want to send their kids to school. But, when they see others going, they also feel pressurized to send their wards to school,” Goni told The Kashmir Monitor.

While several schools have decided to continue with online classes in March for students up to Class VIII, others are opening in a phased manner for lower classes. Some schools are also going for rotational online and offline classes in March. And others have decided to start offline classes below eight standard during the latter part of March.

Several leading schools like DPS, Burn Hall and Presentation Convent have decided to continue with online classes from LKG to seventh standard this month.