What Parents Think About Reopening Of Schools?  

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by Saifullah Bashir

SRINAGAR: The schools are reopening on September 21, parents are worried about their children as the virus has not gone. There is a categorical “no” from the parental side.

It has been over a year now since the student’s attended the schools. In August last year when the unanimous decision of downgrading the erstwhile state was put into place, it was followed by a seven-month-long lockdown. As the situation was getting back on track schools were reopening, in the month of March, another shut down was put into place-COVID 19.

According to the daily figures put by the government, it seems we are in the community transmission stage. Almost on an average 1200 cases are being reported every day.

As per MHA guidelines, schools will reopen on a voluntary basis from September 21 onwards with 50% attendance of both teachers and students.

“What if, one student or a teacher turns positive? What preparations private schools have made? How can they manage social distancing and other guidelines.” asked Mushtaq Ahmad, a parent whose children study in kindergarten classes.

Pertinent to mention here, in Jammu and Kashmir, the number of positive patients has reached 17000 with 1000 plus deaths.

Another parent Bilal Ahmed, says that despite parents being so protective for their children, it becomes often tough even for them to control and take care of. “How can a teacher manage 40-50 students in a classroom and would ensure the SOP’s.”

It seems that the government has not taken the repeated warnings from the health experts into consideration. DAK (Doctors Association of Kashmir) has issued a statement which reads that “Re-opening of schools can worsen the situation”.

DAK further said that studies have shown that children are as likely to be affected with COVID-19 as of adults.

The Private school association is also against the idea of reopening of the schools. “Life of everyone is at risk, we are in community transmission stage. So, how can we support the reopening of schools?” asked Var the president of the private school association. He said that re-opening of schools should not be seen from the prism of lockdown or unlocking but it is a matter of life and priority should be given to life more than education when it is the matter of survival.

Var describes this decision of opening of schools as farce. “There are many government schools which are not even in a position to provide sanitizers and masks to students”.

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