As per the reports from a leading news website the schools are likely to reopen in August. In some states, the school could open in July for senior kids. Most of the Parents are in real shock and are against this decision. They are not comfortable in sending their kids until zero COVID-19 cases are reported.
Parents have started an online petition on change.org title - No Vaccine, no school which has received over 7.3 lakh signatures. The petition states that "Schools should not be opened till there are zero COVID19 cases in the state or better - till a vaccine is developed for the disease".
Parents share an opinion on social media about sending kids to school:
Suresh Das, a parent said, “Children are more vulnerable than adults to Covid-19, so should be given the maximum safety. Academic loss of one year can be recovered easily, loss of a child's life cannot”.
"As a parent, I am of the stern view that the government in no way should allow schools to reopen at least up to 8th class," adds Mr. Bajaj.
Tanu Arora, on the decision of opening senior school, said “My son is in class 9 if he gets exposed, so will the younger sibling gets automatically. I don't plan to send any kids anytime soon”.
Why the Government is in favor of reopening of Schools:
Most educational institutions have been shut since the mid of March. The Urban population can manage the academic loss to some extent by switching to an online mode of learning, but the sad reality - rural India, which consists of 90% of our population, is deprived of digital lessons due to lack of access to technology.
Not everyone can afford a laptop or a smartphone and a reliable internet connection. Even in the digital world, there is a remarkable difference in the lives of the urban and rural worlds.
Why Online is not the best Solution:
Even for kids who are taking online classes, we can not forget the potential dangers of internet exposure for young children, more screen time, less interaction with teachers and peers, less or no practical learning, limited exposure to outdoor activities. In other words, online classes can not be a permanent solution for learning.
UNESCO has also pointed out that 154 crore students are severely impacted by the closure of schools. Considering the benefit of all the sections of society, be it underprivileged or working Parents, the government may sooner or later advise the Schools to reopen but with strict Safety guidelines.
UN agencies like Unesco, Unicef, and World Bank have laid out the guidelines schools can follow to reopen safely. Taking these guidelines into consideration
The new Guidelines of Safety are per the HRD Ministry is as follows :
- New seating matrix - To maintain social distancing norms in the classes.
- Staggered classes - The government is proposing classes in two shifts - morning and evening with 50% in each Shift or Classes on an alternate basis.
- Different mess and library rules - To ensure physical distancing.
- Revamped hostels and canteens - Changes in mid-day meals and food service to reduce cross-contamination;
- Suspension of morning assemblies - To reduce the large gatherings at one place.
- Sports activities in the playground - To maintain Physical distancing with 50% of kids at one time.
- Norms for school buses - Guidelines to safely take children from home to school and back while maintaining Safety Guidelines.
- Safety rules in washrooms and cafeterias - Regular Sanitization and maintaining Physical distance.
- Regular disinfection of entire buildings - Changes to enable health and sanitization protocols in schools. Regular Sanitizing building, classrooms, washrooms, and areas accessed by kids.
- Masks will be a mandatory part of school uniforms - Comfortable 3ply Cotton breathable mask which is Washed or Changed regularly.
- Washing and sanitizing hands at regular intervals - Children should be trained and monitored for washing hands at regular intervals.
Do comment your opinion in the comment box about the decision of reopening of School. Do you think these guidelines are enough to protect the little ones?
(You may also like to read Mandatory Safety Guidelines for Schools to follow).
(You may also like to read 5 things every school going child should know about personal safety).