Jammu & Kashmir: Schools reopening experiment fails in Kashmir, Students stay away; parents want normal schooling after COVID-19 vaccine

Report from Kamran Rashid Bhat;

JK; Srinagar, 1 Oct: Experiment of the School Education Department to reopen the schools from class 9th to 12th on voluntary basis amidst pandemic has not worked as the students have stayed away.

It may be recalled that Education Department officials had to cut a sorry figure after circular asking the parents to send their children to schools on their own risk and responsibility had gone viral on the social networking sites.

A parent while talking to said, “No parent will ever put the life of his/her ward at risk. All of us are aware of the fact that the COVID-19 virus is very much active and it is infecting the people daily. Sending children to schools at this point of time could have proved disastrous.”

The parent said that soon after the schools were reopened in the United States of America and Israel number of COVID-19 cases had witnessed a massive spike.

The educational institutions in Kashmir have remained closed since August 5, 2019. The schools had opened briefly in the month of March but after the outbreak of the COVID-19 these were closed again. “Students have suffered immensely during the past one year and the SED by making an attempt to bring them back to schools was a bold move, but the medicos and experts had opposed it due to many reasons,” said an analyst.

He said, “The winter is coming near and none of us knows how the virus will behave. So reopening schools at this point of time was not a good idea. Parents have listened to the advice of the experts and have prevented their children from becoming a part of a dangerous experiment.”

The analyst said that people will have to wait till the vaccine comes. “We have waited for more than a year, so it’s no point hurrying up. The COVID-19 has to go. It’s just a matter of time before the vaccine comes and people get a protective shield,” he added.

An official of the School Education Department said, “J&K is not the only place where schools have been reopened. The educational institutions have been thrown open in many states and union territories. We are not forcing the parents to send their children to schools. Whosoever wants to come is welcome. There is no compulsion from our side.”

The official said that terming the reopening of schools as a “failed experiment” was being unfair.