Schools re-open with enthusiasm but thin attendance of students

Students undergoing screening on entering the school premises on Monday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Students undergoing screening on entering the school premises on Monday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

DSE reaching out to students for more turnout
Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Feb 14: Following the Government order for re-opening of educational institutions in phased manner, schools in Jammu division today resumed offline classes with great enthusiasm though the attendance of students was thin.
However, the universities and colleges remained closed and are likely to resume offline activities within days after making necessary arrangements. Some of the private schools also remained closed because of insufficient time for sanitization and making others arrangements as the Government order for the re-opening was issued last evening.
Students of classes 9 to 12, dressed in uniforms and carrying vaccination certificates, were seen thronging their institutions in Jammu and other districts of the region this morning.
“All of us are happy that the schools have been re-opened for offline activities. Even as the school was providing online classes, we were not satisfied with the same as it was difficult to get all our queries solved,” said Sonam Sharma, a student of class 10, while entering her school premises.
Gourav Gupta, a class 9 student, said that he was happy to be back on the school premises. Similar were the feelings of other students, who were seen enthusiastic on re-opening of the schools.
“It is a happy moment for all of us that the students are back to classrooms,” said Principal of a school, adding that all necessary arrangements, including sanitization of classes, screening of students at the main gate and adequate availability of hand sanitizers, have been made.
In an order issued yesterday, the State Executive Committee had said that all universities, colleges, polytechnic institutes, ITIs and classes from 9 to 12 can commence their routine offline teaching by following Covid Appropriate Behaviour and Standard Operating Procedures from February 14.
“All the Government high and higher secondary schools resumed offline classes from today though the attendance of students was low on the very first day,” said Director School Education Jammu, Dr Ravi Shanker Sharma.
However, he added, the attendance is expected to pick up in the coming days. “We are also reaching out to the students for which door to door campaign is being launched to encourage the parents for sending their wards to the school,” he told the Excelsior.
According to Ajay Gupta, Principal of NITL and General Secretary of Private Schools Association, the attendance in private schools was also thin while some schools remained closed today for making necessary arrangements like proper sanitization of classrooms.
Welcoming the decision of the administration to open educational institutions, Principal of Shiksha Niketan Higher Secondary School, Rajeev Nagar, Rameshwar Mengi said: “Such a decision should have come long ago. The online mode of education is no alternative to traditional schooling.”
As per the Government order, the offline mode of teaching for the remaining junior classes in Summer zone schools shall begin from February 21 while offline teaching at all schools in the winter zone will commence after February 28.
It may be recalled that after remaining shut for about five months, educational institutions were opened for classes 10 and above in September last year but the rising cases of COVID-19 had again forced the administration to shift back to online classes.
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the Government order, the universities and colleges, remained closed today and are likely to resume activities within a week after making necessary arrangements.
In this regard, Jammu University Vice-Chancellor Prof Manoj Dhar chaired a meeting of the JU officers and after detailed discussions, it was decided that the university shall re-open for offline classes from March 1, 2022, said Dr Vinay Thusoo, spokesperson, JU. The meeting was attended by all Rectors, Campus Deans, Directors, HoD’s, Incharge Librarian and Provost Boys & Girls.
The City colleges under Cluster University Jammu shall start offline classes for 3rd and 5th semester students from February 17.