- Punjab government had earlier decided to close schools till February 8.
- Now, parents and school administration are demanding to reopen schools.
- They have said that they won't caste their votes in upcoming polls if schools remain closed.
Amid Covid cases slowly dipping down in Punjab, school eachers, parents and school administration staged protests across across the state on Saturday, saying that if schools are not reopened, they won't vote in the upcoming state Assembly elections. "If schools are not reopened, we will not vote," said the school administration and parents as they demanded reopening of the schools.
The Punjab government had earlier decided to close schools till February 8 in view of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the state. The school administration, teachers and parents have now come out protesting against the increasing restrictions. Punjab on Saturday witnessed protests across the state under the banner of "Punjab Unaided School Association", which is spearheading the call for the opening of the schools in the state.
In the Barnala district, about 100 people protested against the state government for not lifting the ongoing restrictions. The protestors included people hailing from different backgrounds, which included the school management, teachers, non-teaching staff and parents. They pressed for the reopening of the schools.
MA Saifi, Principal of a private school said, "Representatives, teachers and parents of at least 10 schools of Barnala district joined the protest here. Our only demand is for reopening of the schools. Similar protests are being held all over Punjab under the banner of the 'Punjab Un-Aided School Association'. Last year, the schools were closed for about nine months, and now again the schools are closed continuously since January 5. Staff and children have also been vaccinated in our schools. When everything is open, why are the schools closed."
Sweety Sharma, a teacher, said, "The government is not giving us any platform or facilities for online classes and the platform which we have is also being taken away from us. Today the government has left the school management and parents without any option. We are waiting till February 8, after that the school should open."
Jagdeep Kaur, a parent, told news agency ANI, "Studying on mobile phones is affecting the eyes of the children badly. My son is also not doing well in his studies. That's why we want schools to open. Election rallies are being held, but the schools are closed."
Elections are slated to take place in Punjab in a single phase on Februrary 20. Schools were closed in the state after getting reopened for a while, due to an increase in Covid cases in the month of December last year.
(With ANI Inputs)