Schools to reopen in J&K from Feb 1

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Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday ordered reopening of all the government and recognized private schools in summer zones of Jammu division from February 1.

However, in winter zones of Jammu and in Kashmir Valley, where educational institutions are already closed on account of winter holidays, these will reopen as per their schedule, said an order issued by Administrative Secretary of the School Education Department B.K. Singh here.

Pointing out that the schools shall be “physically opened in a staggered manner’’ for academic activities for class 9 to class 12 with effect from Feburary 1’’, it said that in the case of elementary classes (class 1st to 8th), teachers will attend schools for preparation purposes with effect from the beginning of the coming month and the students will “physically’’ attend classes “from February 8’’.

Asking for following the standard operation procedures in letter and spirit in addition to suggestions of the District Management Authorities, it asked the schools to set up committees at the local level comprising parents, VEC members, SMC members and other prominent persons from the area for purposes of monitoring and support.

It described 2 mts as the sitting distance between two students, adding schools can opt for staggered schedules/shift timings and students rotation in case of non-availability of space.

Pointing out that all the students and teachers shall wear masks, it asked schools managements to make a provision for frequent hand washing with proper soap, or hand santizers for both the students and teachers, apart from safe water, cleaning supplies and establishment of sex segregated toilets and latrines. It also asked for disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning of the learning spaces and surfaces in convergence with the concerned department and local volunteers on daily basis. The touching of surfaces by the students and teachers in and around the areas of the school should be prohibited, it added.

Pointing out that students and teachers should maintain a physical distance of at least 2 mts while coming and leaving the school, it said that they should carry their own stationary and books as exchanging and sharing of these things is strictly prohibited.

It asked the school management to ensure students safety, self esteem and security, and asked them to keep on reminding students of Covid related precautions by organizing quiz, debates and drawing competitions. Apart from this, they shall ensure availability of separate space for keeping sick students and staff temporarly without creating a stigma.

The school authorities should limit any non-essential visitors, volunteers and activities involving external groups in the school, it said, asking Director School Education, Jammu/Kashmir to strengthen counciling facilities for 24×7 for needy students.