Jammu and Kashmir: Govt decides to open schools in phased manner
Srinagar: The J&K government has ordered reopening of schools in Jammu and Kashmir in a phased manner.
As per an order issued by administrative secretary, School Education Department, B K Singh, the government educational institutions “will physically open in a staggered manner for academic activities from February”.
“The schools in summer zone areas of Jammu division will physically open for class 9th to 12th from February 1,” the order reads, adding that in case of elementary classes, teachers will attend from February 1 for preparation.
“The students will physically attend classes from February 8, 2021,” the order reads.
The schools in Kashmir division and winter zone areas of Jammu division will open as per their schedule, it said.
“Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) shall be followed in letter and spirit in addition to suggestions of district disaster management authorities,” the order reads.
The government order states that a local committee will be framed for every school comprising of parents, Village Education Committee (VEC) members, School Management Committee (SMC) members and other prominent persons from the habitation for monitoring and support of the schools.
“The students can sit almost two meters apart from each other. In case of non-availability of such space, staggered schedule/shift timings and student rotation can be an option,” the order reads.
The government has made it mandatory for all the students and teachers to wear facemasks post opening of schools.
“Hand washing points with proper soap should be made available for the students and teachers. Everybody should wash hands frequently maintaining proper physical distance,” the order reads.
It states that the safe drinking water, cleaning supplies and establishment or expansion of sex segregated toilets and latrines should be made available for students in schools.
“In case of absence of washing stations, hand sanitizers of standard prescribed by government be used as hand rub (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer),” it reads, adding that touching of surfaces by the students and teachers in and around the area of the school should be prohibited.
Disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning the learning spaces and surfaces in convergence with the concerned department and local volunteers should be a daily affair, the order reads.
The government has also directed the teachers and heads of the institutions to ensure personal hygiene and hygiene of surroundings as well.
“While coming and leaving school, students and teachers should maintain physical distance of at least two meters from each other and no student or teacher should breach this distance rule either during the schooling or while coming or leaving the school (sic),” the order reads.
The government has ordered that gathering or grouping should be avoided and everybody should come and leave school individually.
“Local community volunteers can be roped in to regulate in collaboration with school staff,” it reads, adding that every student or teacher should carry her/his own stationary and books and exchanging of notebooks and other items should be strictly prohibited.
The government has maintained that the he students’ safety, self-esteem and security should be ensured and students should be reminded of covid19 related precautions.
“Keep organizing Covid Precaution related Quiz, debates, drawing competitions. School heads and staff should be well abreast with the procedures if students or staff becomes unwell,” the order reads, adding that the guidance should include monitoring student and staff health, maintaining regular contact with local health authorities besides updating emergency plans and contact lists.
“Schools should also ensure there is space to temporarily separate sick students and staff without creating stigma. Share procedures with staff parents and students including advising all sick students and staff to remain home,” it reads.
The government has also directed the school authorities to limit any “non-essential” visitors, volunteers and activities involving external groups in the school.
“Director School education Jammu and Kashmir division will strengthen counseling facilities 24×7 for needy students,” the order reads.