Government’s move to open schools in J&K evokes strong reaction

Government’s move to open schools in J&K evokes strong reaction

A day after the Education Department announced to devise a strategy for opening schools in mid-June, former chairperson of the J&K Women Commission, Vasundra Pathak Masoodi, termed the action as “an abject contravention and violation of the guidelines issued by the Union Home Ministry under the National Disaster Act”.

In a letter written to the Lieutenant Governor, Masoodi, who is a Supreme Court advocate, took strong exception of the circular issued by the School Education Department, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Civil Secretariat, Srinagar, in which it was mentioned that government intended to open schools in mid-June.

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“Our children (students) are the most precious and invaluable assets that mankind is bestowed with. Therefore, the health, safety and security of students should be of our utmost priority and concern vis-a-viz safeguarding their academic interests. The academic interests could be safeguarded through different mediums but in view of the incessant and unarresting spike of COVID-19cases in Jammu and Kashmir, any decision to open the schools at this juncture without any tangible safeguards and gauging a satisfactory decline in the deadly pandemic could lead us to irreversible/colossal loss and ad infinitum regret that could not be quantified or compensated by any means what so ever,” she mentioned in her letter.

“I have been approached by many parents across the UT of Jammu and Kashmir who have shared their fear and unwillingness to let their wards join the school until the threat of this deadly pandemicCovid19 is over as they are apprehensive that the children may not be able to strictly adhere to the social distancing norms,” she stated.

Masoodi appealed to the LG to immediately direct the concerns to withdraw the order to so that parents and students across J&K heave a sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, various social activists in Jammu warned opening of schools at this point of time would be like playing with fire.