Re-opening of educational institutions

Dormancy, lethargy, boredom , less of physical activity and no socialising as offshoots analysed on account of closure for two years of educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir as a precautionary measure against COVID virus pandemic, is hopefully expected to be all over, the process in fact having started, other tings remaining the same. The usual activities both at homes, on streets , in schools and colleges will again be abuzz associated with re-opening of educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir both in summer zone as well as in winter zone , of course, with a gap of a few days between the two starting from February 13 and 21. School buses and vans and other vehicles, therefore, will again be seen running on the roads hurrying usually to ferry scholars to and fro and an enthusiasm shall be watched pervading and suffusing the entire scenario. Why not, in particular age when personality is built and developed , setting of traits shaping the inner and outer being of a student are all taking place right in the school class room , its compound and its playground. If confined to four walls of home , the same are bound to not develop by students in a free and open and unhindered way. Besides, gaining self confidence, self esteem, quality of learning and facing challenges successfully are learnt better in class rooms, by interaction between teachers and students as also between students themselves. However, most of the schools have re-opened and the attendance is expected to increase to reach normal levels within a few days.
Having said all this, saving life , remaining secure and physically normal must always reign supreme as has been the response of all combined in fighting and trying to remain unscathed as far as possible from the dreaded COVID virus, the worst type of pandemic which rattled and shook the countries all over — big, small, developed , developing etc – including our country . We had to brave as many as three ”waves” of the pandemic , virtually back to back, and unfortunately seeing the worst in the second ” bout” . However , with virtually mass vaccination across the country , coupled with more or less adaptability of people to learn to ”live with the virus” by observing safety protocol , committed and dedicated services rendered by our COVID warriors – medical specialists and personnel – in particular , the third wave struck like a wind with so called ”variant of concern” – the Omicron but fortunately waned to pass off like a breeze. The daily case load constantly is showing a fast declining trend and the overall position easing thus making it conducive for re-opening of educational educations but with due care, caution and caveat about not to have any complacency about COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and Standard Operating procedure (SOP).
Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges, IITs and the like, have, however, not been re-opened in the UT as yet as some more days are required to make necessary arrangements. In the same way, since ”enough time ” was not given for proper sanitization as claimed by some private schools, they too could not, therefore, open. Why not, sudden plunging into required activities after a long ”rest” should take few hours more for getting prepared. What is needed, however, is reaching out to students and their parents for increasing the roll in the Schools.
The institutional management particularly the teaching staff of educational institutions are thus enjoined upon to strictly monitor safety precautionary procedures and as per the directives of the Government ,ensure that the students (class 9th onwards) entering the school/college premises carried with them vaccination certificates (15 to 17 age group), now that 95 percent of the youngest age group reportedly stand vaccinated . Likewise, symptomatic students have to be got tested for the virus and isolated so as to prevent any infection. It is only when safety measures were scrupulously adhered to by students, parents and teachers all in the interests of the studying children, can schools and colleges continue to remain open and functioning for off-line coaching otherwise any breach may lead to recurring closure of educational institutions. It has to be borne in mind that on-line coaching cannot be a permanent substitute to actual and offline coaching especially in critical areas like taking examinations by the students and showing actual levels of having acquired knowledge of the subjects.