Srinagar, April 10: The government has come under question for allowing private coaching centres to function despite keeping all schools closed in view of the spike in COVID-19 positive cases across J&K.
Earlier, the J&K government ordered temporary closure of all schools up to class 9th till April 18, while the classes 10th to 12th would remain closed till April 11.
The decision was taken to prevent the spread of the virus days after around 100 students and teaching staff tested positive for the deadly virus.
However, all the private coaching centres continue to function across J&K despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The parents have expressed their concern over the functioning of coaching centres without maintaining proper social distance between the students at the entry and exit gates.
The parents said that the coaching centres usually remain crowded and holding physical classes amid the prevailing situation would prove deadly for the students and the staff as well.
“Even the coaching centres do not take samples of students for COVID-19 tests. They continue taking offline classes without doing COVID-19 sampling of students which is a risk,” said Abdul Moiz, a parent.
He said that the government should direct the coaching centres to start online classes as proper SOPs were not followed at these institutes.
“Even if the students are made to sit in a staggered manner inside classrooms, when students depart from classes we witness a huge crowd which only puts their lives at risk,” he said.
A proprietor of a prominent coaching centre also expressed concern over the non-seriousness of the students for not maintaining social distance after leaving from the classrooms.
He admitted that precautions were ensured only inside classrooms not outside the coaching institutes.
“We can’t take decision to suspend offline classes out of our own will. If any such instruction comes from the government, we will adhere to it in letter and spirit,” he said.
Notably, the government had earlier said that the decision about functioning of coaching centres would be announced two days after the schools were closed in J&K but till date no decision was taken so far.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor (LG) Rajeev RaiBhatnagar put the ball in the parents’ court saying that sending kids to coaching centres was a personal choice of the parents.
“It is the choice of the parent of the student whether they want to send them to coaching institutes or not. Some coaching institutes are holding online classes while some institutes take classes in offline mode,” he said.
The advisor said that the government cannot stop all the (educational) activities as students going to the coaching institutes are preparing for competitive exams.
“Other activities are also going on. We have to see the pros and cons of closing the institutes for which the issue will be discussed with the department,” he said.(GK)