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Govt announces winter vacations in schools from Dec 21

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Holding online classes ‘voluntary, not mandatory’

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday announced winter vacations from December 21 in all schools up to Class 12 in the Valley and in winter zone areas of Jammu division.

As per an order issued by Secretary School Education, B K Singh, winter vacation for all government educational institutions and recognised private schools up to higher secondary-level in the Kashmir division and in winter zone areas of Jammu division will be from December 21 to February 28.

However, winter tutorials for Classes 11 and 12 along with online classes will be held as per COVID-19 guidelines and SOPs from time to time, he said.

But later in the day, the government clarified that holding online classes for students in schools was not mandatory for teachers during winter vacation months.

The clarification came hours after the government announced winter vacation.

“The online classes will be voluntary in nature for both teachers and students,” read the order, adding that the words should be deemed to have been added at the end of first para of government order No.277-Edu of 2020.

Earlier, the government had stated that the winter tutorials for class 11th and 12th besides the online classes for other classes will be held by strictly adhering to the SoPs of Covid19 issued by the government from time to time.

However, Administrative Secretary School Education department B K Singh said the option of holding online classes is only for the purpose that if the students want to contact their teachers they can take guidance from them through online mode. “It is only optional for them, not mandatory,” he said.

He said there will be no purpose in announcing holidays if teachers are asked to deliver online classes regularly during the winter vacation period.

“If it is a holiday there is no question of holding online classes on a regular basis. There is nothing to worry about it,” said B K Singh.

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