The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday evening announced re-opening of the schools in February. However, the government has issued a series of directions asking students and teachers to wear masks and maintain a two-metre distance. The government said touching surfaces by the students and teachers in and around the area of the school should be prohibited.
“All government educational institutions, including recognized private schools, shall physically open in a staggered manner for academic activities,” a government order said. The schools in the summer-zone areas of Jammu for class 9 to 12 will reopen on February 1.
The order said that in the case of elementary classes, teachers would attend with immediate effect from February 1 for preparation and students will physically attend classes from February 8. The schools of Kashmir will open according to schedule in March.
The government said the students can sit almost two metres apart. In case of non-availability of such space, a staggered schedule or shift timings and student rotation can be an option.
The government said all students and teachers should wear masks.
“Hand-washing points with proper soap should be made available for the students and teachers. Everybody should wash hands frequently maintaining a proper physical distance. Safe water, cleaning supplies and, wherever possible, establish or expand sex-segregated toilets or latrines,” the advisory said.
“In case of absence of washing stations, hand sanitizers of standard prescribed by the government should be used as hand rub (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer),” the government added.
“Disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning the learning spaces and surfaces in convergence with the concerned department and local volunteers should be a daily affair,” the government said.
“Personal hygiene and hygiene of surroundings should be ensured,” the government added.
“While coming and leaving school, students and teachers should maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from each other and no student or teacher should breach this distance rule either during the schooling or while coming or leaving the school and in all cases, 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.”
“Every student or teacher should carry her or his own stationery and books and exchange or sharing books, notebooks, pencils, pens and other items among students or teachers should be strictly prohibited.”
Three days ahead of the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, 2019, a home department order issued by Jammu and Kashmir government asked “tourists and Amarnath yatris” to leave Kashmir Valley “as soon as possible”. The order triggered panic in the Valley and led to the closure of the schools. But the government formally issued a closure order for all schools in Jammu and Kashmir on August 4, 2019, and since then the schools have remained closed after briefly opening in March 2020.
Meanwhile, the government on Friday said 88 new positive cases of Covid-19, 42 from Jammu and 46 from Kashmir, have been reported, taking the total number of positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir to 123,852. Also, four Covid-19 deaths have been reported today, two from Jammu and two from Kashmir.
Out of 123,852 positive cases, 1,098 are active positive, 120,826 have recovered and 1,928 have died; 719 in Jammu division and 1,209 in Kashmir.