Ministry of Education survey: Over 90% of J&K schools have a handwashing facility to keep COVID at bay

Srinagar: A new study has found that over 90% of schools in Jammu and Kashmir have set up handwashing stations after resuming offline teaching

The survey was conducted by the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) of the Ministry of Education. She revealed that 95.28% of public schools, or 22,074 institutes, have handwashing facilities for children.

Handwashing facility includes the availability of clean water, hand sanitizers and soaps in school washrooms.

The survey indicated that all government-subsidized schools in the Union Territory have implemented this facility. According to the survey, private schools have handwashing facilities in 97.38% (5,501) institutes.

Before schools reopened, the government had made it compulsory for students to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes.

Initially, schools initiated various measures including dividing classes into even-odd groups as part of anti-covid measures.

Officials of the Directorate of School Education (DSEK) said they had done their best to maintain hygiene in public schools.

“Hygiene was our priority. We have tap water facility in 100% of schools in Jammu and Kashmir. Equal attention is given to the healthy midday meal for children,” they said.

The chairman of the Association of Private Schools of Jammu and Kashmir GN Var said they have developed a protocol to maintain hygiene in schools.

“To maintain hand hygiene, soaps and hand cleansing gels are made available in the toilets. Private schools have also maintained the availability of clean water for children apart from regular sanitation campaigns,” he said.

Doctors said people had learned to maintain their hygiene in the last two years of the pandemic.

“Hand washing, in particular, is an essential component of hygiene. The pandemic has allowed us to maintain personal hygiene. If we follow the protocols, we will be less exposed to germs and infections,” said Professor Muhammad Salim Khan, Head of Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar.