Authorities undecided about reopening of schools in J&K

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School Children in Srinagar Kashmir
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SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir administration is undecided over reopening of schools amid surge in the coronavirus cases in the Union Territory.

On March 07, the government ordered closure of primary schools in the Valley which was later followed by the middle, high and higher secondary schools to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Earlier this month, Jammu and Kashmir administration said schools may be reopened from first week of June to prevent further academic loss to the students in the Valley.

An order was also issued, directing all the heads of the institutions to whitewash all the school buildings belonging to the school education department before the opening of schools. “The school buildings will be whitewashed out of the maintenance fund earmarked in the budget 2020-2021,” the order read.

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However, an official said that government is undecided over reopening of schools. “Government was mulling to reopen schools with shift-wise classes but no decision has been taken yet. We also have to get a nod from Ministry of Home Affairs before taking any decision,” the official said.

“No decision over reopening of schools has been taken yet. Government is thinking over it,” Principal Secretary, School Education, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon said.

Centre has recently lifted several restrictions which includes permitting transport services, reopening of shops, and resuming online shopping.

According to the Central government’s most recent order, all activities, except the ones “specifically prohibited”, will be allowed in Green, Orange, Red, and Buffer zones, which continue to be classified by the States/UTs and district authorities.

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However, Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement said no decision has been taken on opening of schools and colleges and all education institutions across the country are still prohibited to open.

“No such decision taken by MHA. All Educational institutions are still prohibited to open, throughout the country (sic),” the MHA said.

The nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to combat the pandemic. It was first extended till May 03 and again till May 17. The lockdown has now been extended till May 31.

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