Govt permits reopening of schools for Class 10th, 12th students with conditions

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JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has permitted opening of schools for Classes 10th and 12th and reiterated that coaching centres for Civil Services/Engineering/NEET will also function with certain conditions but ordered that schools for other classes will stay closed for on-site/in-person teaching.

The latest order on opening of schools for 10th and 12th classes was issued today in the COVID guidelines released by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta in his capacity as Chairperson of the State Executive Committee (SEC).

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“Classes for 12th standard shall be permitted in the educational institutions with limited in-person teaching not exceeding 50 percent on a given day for vaccinated students and staff. However, the school management will have to obtain consent from the parents of all students who are willing to attend the classes,” the SEC guidelines said.

Entry to the educational institutions will be subject to proper screening regarding vaccination. Screening will be done at the school gate itself.

“If students, teachers and other staff members show symptoms like cough, cold and fever, they will not be allowed to enter the school. Head of the institute must ensure that guidelines related to social distancing and COVID protocols are strictly followed,” the SEC order said.

As far as resumption of Class 10th is concerned, limited in-person teaching of students, not exceeding 50 percent on any given day can be permitted by the concerned Deputy Commissioner after ensuring compliance with COVID Appropriate Behaviour by the school management.

However, the classes will be run after due screening through 100 percent Rapid Antigen Test or RT-PCR which will also be subject to consent of parents and students.

“Schools, except for relaxations provided for students of 10th and 12th classes, will continue to remain closed for on-site/in-person teaching,” the order said.

The SEC has also reiterated reopening of coaching centres for Civil Services/Engineering/NEET with limited in-person teaching but only for fully vaccinated staff and students.

The SEC has asked heads of the coaching centres to ensure that the guidelines related to social distancing and COVID protocols are adhered to.

All other coaching centres will continue to remain closed for onsite/in-person teaching, as per the order.

The administration reiterated that higher educational institutions shall be permitted to commence limited in-person teaching subject to 100 percent vaccination of staff and students and specific permission of concerned Deputy Commissioners.

“Such institutions can organize special vaccination camps in consultation with the district administration. Head of these institutions must ensure that the guidelines related to social distancing and COVID protocols are adhered to,” the order read.

It said educational institutions shall be permitted to direct attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes only.

The COVID guidelines further reiterated that night curfew will remain in force in all districts from 8 pm to 7 am but there will be no weekend curfew in any district.

Cap on the gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, will remain restricted at 25. The SEC has asked all District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police to ensure compliance of restrictions on the gatherings.

All Deputy Commissioners have also been asked to focus on the positivity rates of the medical-blocks under their jurisdictions.

“Intensified measures, related to COVID management and restriction of activities, shall be undertaken by the DCs in these Blocks,” the order read, adding, “There shall be renewed focus on Panchayat level mapping of cases and micro-containment zones shall be constituted wherever unusual spike of cases is noticed.”

The State Executive Committee has asked the Deputy Commissioners to keep active track of the positivity rates in the blocks and consider implementing stricter control measures in closed clustered spaces like public and private Offices, Community halls, Malls, Bazaars etc, in case weekly positivity rate goes beyond 4 percent in these Blocks.

The District Magistrates, as per the order, shall strictly ensure that there is full compliance to COVID Appropriate Behaviour and defaulters are firmly dealt with under relevant Sections of the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code. “The District Magistrates shall constitute joint teams of Police and Executive Magistrates for enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.”

“Positive cases detected as a result of intensive testing need to be isolated/quarantined at the earliest and their contacts should also be traced,” the SEC order said and called for immediate isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients in treatment facilities, hospitals and houses.