Kashmiri girl students in college
Students during a lecture at Government College for Women, M.A. Road Srinagar (Photo: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)

SRINAGAR — After remaining closed for more than a year, the schools in Kashmir are all set to reopen next week.

An official said that the government has chalked out a detailed plan for reopening the schools. “Under this plan, 50 percent of the staff will have to attend the schools on the alternative days,” said the official.

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Regarding students, the source said, they will be allowed to return to classrooms only after getting written consent from the parents.

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Regarding students of Class 9, 10 and 11, the schools authorities will allow 50 percent attendance. “The schools will be reopened while ensuring strict adherence to all COVID-19 SOPs and health guidelines,” said an official.

He said the final decision to send their wards to schools will, however, rest with the parents. “The schools will not force the students to return to schools, and at the same time the online classes which were started many months ago will continue,” the official added.

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The schools were first closed in August last year when the Government of India unilaterally abrogated Article 370, a constitutional provision that guaranteed special position to Jammu and Kashmir in Union of India.

The clampdown that was started on August 5 continued for more than six months and was followed by the COVID lockdown that started in March when Kashmir reported first coronavirus case from Srinagar.

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