TODAY -

Schools yearning to resume normal classes
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: September 04, 2021 -



If at all the government plans to reopen educational institutions, then it should be preceded by consulting with and getting approval of the health experts rather than nonchalantly endorsing the demands or proposals being made by private or government-aided schools.

With almost all the private schools undeniably operating as commercial establishment and the students serving as their primary source of income, it is understandable that administrators of these institutions, especially the higher secondary schools, would be most eager to resume conventional mode of teaching and learning process to enrol maximum number of students in view of the en-mass promotion of students from class X to XII standard.

After classes in schools and colleges across the country were suspended from March 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus, slight improvement in the pandemic situation in the latter part of the same year led to staggered reopening of higher and middle classes before onset of the second wave brought the life-shaping process to an abrupt end again from April this year.

While restrictions were gradually eased in different phases of unlock, educational institutions continued to remain closed until recently when states and union territories, where the rate of Covid-19 infection dropped, allowed resumption of physical classes.

However, in the context of Manipur which recorded monthly positivity rate above 10 per cent in the past four months any hasty decision to emulate other states would be nothing less than taking unnecessary risk, if one takes note of the fact that the dominant Covid-19 strain prevalent in the state is the highly transmissible Delta variant.

In-spite of the dip in the daily positivity rate in the last few days indicating improvement in the pandemic situation, it is still questionable on what ground and interest the schools' organisations are proposing resumption of physical classes or on what basis the government would uphold the proposal as all the educational institutions were kept shut in 2020 when the monthly positivity rates were far better than the present one.

Moreover, with the education department authorities ordering vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff only on Wednesday, it is obvious that posers would be raised if the government allows prompt resumption of physical classes without weighing the pros and cons.

Notwithstanding the improvement in the pandemic situation in the past few days, the prevalence of the highly infectious Delta variants and prediction of the third wave in India should be taken into consideration without which resumption of physical classes and imminent close contacts among the juveniles inside the classrooms or while travelling in crammed vehicles have the potential to create unwanted situations.

Thus, it is desired that the government prioritise effective containment of the contagion to avert complicating the health crisis.

As optimum vaccination of the eligible people remains the best bet against the contagion, the school staffers should be encouraged to take the jabs and made aware that smooth operation of academic activities would be beneficial to all.

As mentioned in the order, the government shall have to take into consideration and put in place all safety measures necessary without which congregation of students might have disastrous consequences.



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