Closure of Schools In Kashmir Anymore Unacceptable

Closure of Schools In Kashmir Anymore Unacceptable

Closure of Schools In Kashmir Anymore Unacceptable

Time has come to resume the academic operations in our schools to avoid any further damage to our fragile educational system

Second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is about to die out in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Number of COVID-19 positive cases has come down considerably to three figure mark. To be precise enough, the number of COVID-19 positive cases is under three hundred mark. 

Different kinds of restrictions on trade, travel, tourism and other related sectors have been lifted either fully or partially. Public transport is plying on roads with absolute capacity, local and nonlocal tourists have begun to throng different health resorts of Kashmir valley, markets bear festive look despite the fact that inflation has tormented the lower middle class of our society. Hill-stations like Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam are abuzz with national and international visitors. 

I mean, the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has returned back to normalcy. But, if any sector is still paralyzed and crippled, it is our educational sector. The ghost of COVID-19 has haunted our educational institutions so badly, that children are still barred from their classes.
Virtual mode of teaching viz Zoom, YouTube, LMS etc is not serving the purpose in case of elementary classes, because, most of the children from elementary classes have no access to internet. And those who have the privilege of access to internet are seen indulging in bizarre and pathological addiction of internet. 

It may be helpful for college and university going students but it is certainly harmful for elementary level students. Online gaming, crazy movies, absurd entertainment shows and other stuff has enslaved our young children. 

They are wasting their precious time in browsing and surfing websites on internet. Over the years, breaches of immodesty and indecency are vividly evident on our moral fabric. 
Immodesty has not only dented our educational and academic standards but has destroyed our value system terribly. Peer-Vaer (Abode of saints) is turning into a hub of crimes and tribulations. Other side of the coin is even uglier and darker. Our children have become couch potatoes. 

They hate physical work. Child obesity is assuming dangerous proportions in our part of globe which was earlier thought to be a Western and metropolitan menace. Now, our children hardly show any interest in physical activities viz games and sports. 

It has become a matter of serious concern for parents and elders of our society. Many children are seen with bulging tummies. So, online schooling is proving quite counterproductive for our children.  
Open air schooling or community schooling though is not an absolute substitute, yet, it is quite better than virtual mode of teaching and learning. 

Though it will not compensate academic losses incurred by the pandemic and the uncertainty prevalent in the valley of Kashmir for last three decades, but, will certainly reduce the educational deficits to some extent. We should not expect miracles from the two hour long teaching-learning process. 

Results of community schooling could have been better if proper checks and balances would have been in place. Children of lesser God are left at the mercy of Allah. 

Adding insult to the injuries of these poor children, a big number of teachers are busy in performing non-academic duties viz-a-viz online and offline registration of COVID-19 vaccination beneficiaries, RAT punching, RAT sampling etc... It is hampering the process of imparting academic instructions to our children very badly.
Though it had become imperative for authorities to close our schools to avoid any possible eventuality and calamity but, now, things have improved considerably. Life is limping back to normalcy. 

Economic and developmental activities are gaining pace slowly. Economy has a scope to overcome the losses, but, the educational losses are sure to reflect on our face in future. 

We may end up with inefficient doctors, engineers and administrators if things are not taken seriously. Any complacency and leniency will ditch us deep into the marsh of impoverishment and timidness. 

Commoners have begun to raise fingers against the alleged double standards of authorities, because, schools are not the only places where children can contract the infection. 
When markets and other public places are open to all, when restrictions and containment measures in rest of the fields are gone, then why are schools put under lockdown ? So, people have the right to ask that why is education of poor children at stake ? Proper SOPs and proper sanitation measures can eliminate the fear of contraction of infection in educational institutions. 

So, people at the helm must ensure the availability of proper sanitation facilities in educational institutions to avoid the recurrence of the infection. 
Children are feeling gagged and caged because our children haven't been to their schools since August 2019. 

It is a pretty long time to cage a child. Open air schooling though has at-least broken the dormancy and monotony. It has provided them some space to venture out from their homes. But, it is not enough to mitigate the damage. 

The initiative is not adequate and sufficient to meet their educational, emotional, physical, psychological and ethical requirements. Authorities should take a serious cognizance of the matter, and should end the prolonged lockdown of schools at the earliest.
It is pertinent to mention here that the education of our children has been facing the tantrums of political instability for the last three decades. COVID-19 pandemic is proving the last nail in the coffin. 

The situation is quite scary and pessimistic in rural areas where most of the parents are not conscious and aware about the education of their children. To my utter shock and surprise, two of my own students have allegedly left their studies to learn some skill. So, we can't continue with the closure of schools. 

Though our children have proven their mettle at different national and international platforms, but, the current uncertainty has barred them from expanding their wings further. 
Kashmiri students have proved their mettle in different elite examinations of the country which corroborates the fact that they are very competitive and efficient. But, now, the incessant shutdown must end in order to hone the raw talent of our children. Closure of schools is widening the academic gaps. 

Any further closure of schools and other educational institutions will push us deep into the quagmire of educational backwardness. And educationally backward nations have slavery and obloquy engraved in their palms.
Teaching and non teaching staff, including eligible students have been vaccinated. Government must ensure the early fumigation of educational institutions and other related places. Teachers, students and parents must be sensitized about the proper COVID-19 behavior. 

Sanitizers, soaps and face masks should be made available to school authorities, so that the prescribed SOPs are followed in letter and spirit. 

Time has come to resume the academic operations in our schools to avoid any further damage to our fragile educational system.

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