Srinagar: The government is mulling to reopen schools from the first week of June to prevent further academic loss to the students in the Kashmir valley.
Principal Secretary, School Education, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon told The Kashmir Monitor that the government has ordered to complete the renovation of the schools by the end of this month and start classes from June.
“We are planning to throw schools open in the first week of June to prevent further academic loss to the students,” he said.
Besides, he said virtual classes, tele-classes, and radio lectures will continue until schools reopen. “We have also distributed around 60 thousand books to the students and 1200 tablets loaded with offline video lectures. All the required study material will be given to the students who don’t have access to the smartphones,” he added.
In a government order accessed by The Kashmir Monitor, Samoon has directed all the heads of the institutions to whitewash all the school buildings belonging to the school education department before the opening of schools.
“The school buildings will be whitewashed out of the maintenance fund earmarked in the budget 2020-2021,” the order read.
An official of the school education department said the decision to reopen schools has been taken keeping in mind the slow internet connectivity. However, it also depends on the situation arising due to COVID-19.
Private Schools Association, President, G N Var said “dark clouds are looming large over the future of the students”. “4G internet is a distant dream. There is no other option other than to open schools and support the initiative of the government,” he said.
Var said that they have discussed a plan to operate schools and follow the guidelines strictly keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation.
“Schools will open phase-wise and classes will operate shift wise. Students will not be allowed to assemble in schools. The health of students will be a priority. Every class will have a common sanitizer and students will be advised to maintain social distancing,” he said.
On March 7, the government ordered the closure of primary schools in the valley which was later followed by the middle, high and higher secondary schools to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.