STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: In an application seeking directions to respondents that teachers may be allowed to take classes through virtual mode till pandemic is over or directing authorities to make arrangements for connectivity in schools through multimedia, a Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta, after hearing counsel for the applicant, issued notice to Education Department and directed Sr AAG N H Shah to inform the Court about measures being taken to ensure compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and COVID guidelines on issue of reopening of Schools at this stage, within a week.In the application petitioner sought directions to Principal Secretary to Government, School Education Department, J&K for continuing with the virtual mode teaching process and teaching staff of School Education may be allowed to conduct teaching process as per virtual mode from their respective residences as same is beneficial for students in contrast to physical attendance in Schools.It has been also submitted that if at all Schools are resolved to be opened, the same may be done in consonance with SOPs and guidelines issued by the Government of India as well as Government of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.It further sought directions to Director School Education to publicise restrictions on opening of schools or attendance of staff within containment zones in furtherance to standing SOPs and guidelines. Wide publicity of such restrictions may be conveyed through print and electronic media and Director School Education Departments Jammu / Kashmir may be directed to provide list of Schools within containment zones of Kashmir Province that have recorded attendance of teachers after impugned administrative instructions to facilitate action for breach of Disaster Management Act and all others directions having force of law.Further directions were sought for Chairmen, District Disaster Management Authorities of Jammu & Kashmir to implement provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and see as to whether COVID-19 SOPs laid down are being fulfilled by authorities of School Education Department along with publicising lists of containment zones / restrict zones / red zones for awareness of general public more particularly student and teacher community besides furnishing a list of violators to the Court.
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