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Bogged by Covid, electricity issues, poor online teaching, J&K schools finally reopen

By Basharat Rashid* 

After a long gap, the schools in every nook and corner of Kashmir valley have finally reopened, as educational institutions were constantly closed in view of Corona-virus (Covid-19). The decision to reopen schools was taken after major decline in cases.
On the occasion of reopening, colorful scenes were witnessed in markets and other public places, while school going children were seen happy and excited all around.
Since August 5, 2019, the schools in Kashmir have been facing back to back closures, initially due to prolonged restrictions (in view of abrogation of article 370) and later due to Covid lockdown, and were last time opened in March 2021 for sometime. The students used to attend online classes, during the COVID-19 period.
Aaqib Ahmad Lone, a 12th class student told this journalist that he is happy to join the school back, "as online classes were nothing, while offline classes are valuable."
He said that offline classes facilitate students in many ways, while online classes are all about distraction and network problems.
Another student in Aripal tehsil of Pulwama district named Aijaz Ahmad has said he is overwhelmed on the decision of opening of educational institutions.
He said that he is happy to wear the uniform, see the classmates, teachers and to have an offline contact during teaching learning process with his teachers.
Similarly, the teachers were also seen joyous, and were waiting to see the students back in schools.
A teacher named Irfan Nazir while talking to this journalist called the reopening of schools as a great feeling, and an opportunity for a teacher to listen their aspirations, welcome them and console them.
He said that, "here comes a moment when after many seasons of separation, our children are back with us, and our empty schools and compounds are lit up and alive again."
Similarly, a social activist, Farooq Trali, said that it is a great decision of government to open schools, "as students suffered too much due to continuous closure of schools due to pandemic."
"Non-regular schooling has distracted students from proper studies and other curricular activities. Candidly speaking online classes and exams gave negative effects to students and work culture of teaching community as well," he said, adding that regular classes make students highly energetic.
Nasir Khuehami, National Spokesman J&K students association called the decision of reopening of schools as "heart warming".
He said that "students in far off areas like Gurez, Uri, Tangdhar and other places, suffered a lot in a last few years, as they were not able to give online classes due to electricity issues in their respective areas, while there were students who had no smart phones."
He further said that offline classes can develop teaching learning process, and can recuperate the damage, suffered by education system over the last few years.
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*Journalist based in Pulwama

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