School Traced Few Students With Covid19 Infection In Winter Camp, Hid It From Parents

SRINAGAR: Management of a Christian Missionary School created a crisis for dozens of parents by hiding that a few of the participants in the winter camp have tested positive for Covid19. It was after the students confided in the parents the real reason that the families started taking precautions and drove them to hospitals for mandatory tests.

Kashmiri school students are busy skiing at Gulmarg. KL Image: Special Arrangement

“Our kids had gone on a fortnight-long winter camp to Gulmarg. There were boys and girls and on daily basis, we would get the messages about the happenings in the camp,” one parent told Kashmir Life. “Today after about around 12 days, we got a message that we should collect the kids at 4 pm, three days ahead of the formal closure of the camp.”

The message that came on the WhatsApp group read: “As a precautionary measure, the current group of students at our winter camp in Gulmarg are being set home. You are requested to make arrangements to collect your ward from the school campus, Sheikhbagh at 4 pm.”

The families rushed to collect their wards only to be told that the camp was closed because of adverse weather conditions. “They said there were avalanche warnings so they brought kids home,” another parent said. “In fact, part of the belongings that the kids had taken along are still at Gulmarg.”

It was after the kids were collected by the families that the students told their parents that some of the students had tested positive for Covid19 as a result of which the camp was closed early. This triggered a crisis as the families had to rush their wards to hospitals for tests and in certain cases, they had to take all the family members for tests.

“Nobody is holding the school management responsible for any student testing positive but the problem is that they could have told the parents accordingly and the arrangements would have been made,” one of the parents said. “By not revealing the real reasons, they pushed families into crisis. So many of us have aged members at home who are vulnerable. Had they told us, we would take precautions.”

The parent said they saw a boy being escorted into the office and later his father was shouting at the officials for hiding from him that his son had Covid19. Even in his case, it was the son – and not the management, who broke the news to his family.

When tried to contact the particular school officials but they didn’t respond to our repeated calls.

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