With the new Omicron variant of the virus causing concern across the world, fresh orders of strict surveillance across Jammu and Kashmir. The administration has also stressed the need to continue existing Covid containment measures in all districts “in view of the uneven trend observed in daily Covid cases as well as rising positivity rates.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the education of schoolgoing children in J&K. Most schools in the valley are closed since August 9, 2019, when the government revoked article 370 amid unprecedented curfew, communication blockade and siege. The schools in the valley were opened for a brief period in March 2020 months after only to be closed in view of Covid 19 infection. Since then, most schools in the valley are shut.
The government has continued with the closure of schools in its fresh order. However, it has allowed in-person teaching of 12th class students in schools on conditions that students and staff should be fully vaccinated and students should have permission from parents to attend school. In the case of 10th class students, the government order says the deputy commissioner concerned can allow limited in-person classes, not exceeding 50 per cent on any given day, after due screening through Rapid Antigen Test or RT-PCR, subject to the consent of parents and students.
Two persons died of Covid-19 and 127 tested positive in the Kashmir division on Sunday. In Jammu, 18 fresh cases were reported and 27 in the UT of Ladakh including 15 government employees.
The government says the offline board exams for 12th and 10th classes would be permitted to be held “in a staggered manner in accordance to the social distancing norms.”
About the education institutions, the order says classes for12th standard students would be permitted “in-person teaching not exceeding 50 per cent on any given day for vaccinated students and staff.” Consent will be obtained from parents of all students who are willing to attend physical classes.
In the case of class 10, the government said limited in-person teaching of students not exceeding 50 per cent on any given day can be permitted by the concerned deputy commissioner after due screening through 100 per cent Rapid Antigen Test or RT-PCR after consent from parents and students. All other schools will continue to remain closed for in-person teaching, the order reads.
“Limited in-person teaching of vaccinated students not exceeding 50 per cent on any given day, shall be permitted in polytechnics and IITs subject to the consent of parents and students and all measures as per Covid related protocol,” the order says
“Coaching centres for civil services, engineering, NEET shall be permitted with limited in-person teaching for fully vaccinated staff and students subject to the condition that the head of the centre shall ensure that the guidelines related to social distancing and Covid protocols are adhered to. All other coaching centres except those indicated above shall continue to remain closed for onsite/in-person teaching,” the order says.
“Higher educational institutions shall be permitted to commence limited in-person teaching subject to 100 per cent vaccination of staff and students and specific permission of concerned deputy commissioners,” the order says. “Educational institutions shall be permitted to direct attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purpose only,” the order says.
The government order asks the district magistrates to constitute teams of district officers to check whether Covid appropriate behaviour is adhered to by people. The district magistrates have been asked to intensify enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour. They have been asked to submit the report to the chief secretary of the state on daily basis.
The order says only 25 people will be permitted to indoor and outdoor gatherings. In the banquet halls in the districts, the gatherings are allowed up to 25 per cent of the space for vaccinated persons.