The Jammu and Kashmir government, in an order issued on Friday, said all degree colleges in the union territory will observe summer vacation from June 5 to July 5.
The order, issued by higher education secretary Talat Parvez Rohella, comes days after the government’s internal communication to directors of education in the Jammu and Kashmir region regarding the possibility of opening schools in mid-June.
Last year, the schools remained closed in Kashmir for nine months after the government imposed a lockdown and communication blockade after the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
The decision to declare summer vacation for colleges for a month has come amid a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing a spike in the number of cases in the past two weeks with even healthcare workers and doctors contracting the disease. The union territory has so far reported more than 3,100 coronavirus cases and as many as 35 deaths.
There are reports that the government intends to use colleges as quarantine centers, given the daily rise in number of COVID-19 cases.
The health infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir has come under criticism due to increasing number of cases despite the lockdown being in place.
The J&K government recently exempted the personnel of Army and Central Armed Police Force from on arrival testing and quarantine. It said the defence personnel would be tested and quarantined at their place of postings and formations.
The government has mobilised all its resources to combat the spread of the pandemic. It has also established quarantine centers in private hotels and government buildings.
The rising number of cases have dashed the hopes of people in Kashmir to resume business which has suffered more than Rs 30,000 crore and loss of five lakh jobs since last August.