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Students, parents jubilant as schools reopen across Kashmir

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Srinagar: After remaining closed for most part of the past three years due to lockdowns imposed to combat COVID-19 pandemic and for maintaining law and order post abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, schools across Kashmir came to life Wednesday with physical presence of children for resumption of offline teaching.

The authorities had in the second week of February decided to reopen schools across Jammu and Kashmir as the number of Covid cases dropped significantly.

There was unusual hustle across the Valley with students gathering at bus stops to board buses and other means of transport to reach their schools, while some parents chose to ferry their children in private cars so as to accompany their kids to schools.

Dressed in colourful uniforms, students made their way to respective schools across the city and other parts of the Valley.

Outside the main schools, students queued up for screening of body temperature as part of the anti-Covid standard operating procedure.

Students of secondary and higher secondary — who are usually in the age group of 15 to 18 years could be seen carrying their vaccination certificates to be shown at the entry gates.

The government has made it compulsory for students above the age of 15 years to be fully vaccinated for them to be allowed to attend in-person classes.

The schools have initiated various steps including breaking classes into even-odd groups as part of anti-Covid measures.

Pertinently, the government has advised the schools to ensure smooth transition of students from home-based lockdown to formal schooling besides providing support to them on school reopening.

The school heads have been asked to ensure emotional wellbeing of students and teachers as well.

The parents and the stakeholders have also called for adoption of a play-way method of teaching in schools for the children.

“Create an air of festivity in schools. Let us break the ice and pass on a message that this week it will be more play, more fun. We should make small groups of children so that they share the experiences of long pauses, the woes, the happiness, the stress keeping Covid-appropriate behaviour in mind,” the Director School Education said in a message.

Meanwhile, an official spokesman said that after a long epoch of home stay, students across Kashmir were today seen flocking in uniforms to schools with excitement while wearing masks to follow CAB.

As gates of schools were opened today to welcome students, they felt ecstatic for beginning of normal functioning of schools.

The ambience of every institution echoed and reverberated again with chattering of students, which brought life to closed building and class rooms, said the spokesman, adding, parents accompanying their wards to schools said that they are glad for the new dawn and hoped for normal academic calendar and activities from henceforth.

Many students while expressing their feelings said that they have been waiting for along time for opening of schools to continue their education. They said that although teachers were conducting online classes for the period of pandemic but offline education has its advantages which help students to have face to face interaction with teachers besides a smooth learning and evaluation process.

Face mask, sanitizer and checking of body temperature is the new norm for post-Covid off-line schooling. Photo/Javed Khan

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