Reopening of schools could lead to irreversible, colossal loss, says Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi

Reopening of schools could lead to irreversible, colossal loss, says Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi

Suhail Khan

Srinagar, June 2 : Former chairman State Women’s Commission Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi has asked the government not to reopen schools in Jammu and Kashmir.

She wrote a letter to Lieutenant Governor a day after government said it was intending to reopen schools from mid-June in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I may draw your kind attention to the circular issued by the School Education Department. The said circular inter alia asserts J&K govt intends to reopen schools in June 2020 and will be effective till 30th June 2020. According to the said guidelines the State Governments/UT administrations have been advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other ‘stakeholders’ Based on the feedback a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) will prepare SOPs for these institutions,” the letter reads.

“A bare perusal of the guidelines elucidate and makes it abundantly clear that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has not allowed the opening of schools before 30/06/2020 The guidelines further emphasize that the decision with regards to the opening of schools would be taken in the month of July based on the feedback obtained after consulting parents and other stake holders at the institutional level.”

“Therefore, the impugned circular by the Education Department with regards to opening of schools in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by mid June is in abject contravention and violation of the guidelines that were issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs In exercise of the powers under section 6(2)(1) of National Disaster Act The said circular is also highly unwanted and unwarranted on account of being completely arbitrary in nature for the sad circular has been issued without consulting the parents/the stake holders and in absence of any SOPs by (MoHFW) which is the ‘conditio sine qua non for arriving at such a decision as mandated by the above referred guidelines.”

The letter says that students are the most precious and invaluable assets that the mankind is bestowed with.

“Therefore, the health, safety and security of students should be of utmost priority and concern viz a viz safeguarding their academic interests The academic interests could be safeguarded through different mediums but in view of incessant and unarresting spike of Covid 19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir, any decision to open the schools at this juncture without any tangible safeguards and gauging a satisfactory decline in the deadly pandemic could lead us to irreversible/colossal loss,” she said in the letter, who is also Advocate of Supreme Court of India.

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