- Post unlock guidelines, every veritable sector is functioning full tilt except international aviation and the schools though few states have opened the doors of learning by observing prescribed health and safety protocols. The Karnataka government has allowed the recommencing of colleges, as per the UGC guidelines, including the running of hostels soon after the festive season of Deepavali. Most hearteningly, the entire country is witnessing reduced reporting of confirmed infection rates of COVID-19 and the same trend continues in Karnataka as well. The decision to open was probably prompted by a downward trend visible for a sustained duration.
- The health experts are advocating a cautious approach anticipating the second wave that is supposed to be more deadly and destructive than the earlier one. Astonishingly high infection rates reported across the European countries and mind-boggling numbers in the United States of America will leave any layman disturbed with the sheer volume of people falling sick and succumbing. Considering the extremely debilitating situation panning out in those countries, the authorities here are rightly apprehensive as trading in uncertain situations could be counterproductive.
- As experience suggests, the Karnataka government is always one of the first states in unlocking many a stalled economic activity and would not mind issuing suitable instructions allowing the opening of the schools as well. However, sensitivities associated with vulnerable and gullible children are matters requiring careful deliberations and a nuanced approach preempting anything adverse from occurring, lest the government will be squarely held responsible for adversarial consequences. This being the case, the authorities concerned will weigh every available option before concurring with the move.
PC: The Siena School
- The moot point to ponder over here is for how long the students be allowed to be shielded as invention and availability of effective vaccine is still months away from going by the indications. The parents’ community are divided in their opinion as to the crucial Grades X and Grade XII students will be hugely disadvantaged if the schools are not allowed to commence conventional classroom teaching, especially science students. As I have been strongly advocating for a long time now, allowing Grades IX to XII to visit schools is inevitable and as such, cannot be delayed any longer citing fear of contracting the infection as the sole reason.
- People would be witnessing how children of all ages are teeming around whilst playing, celebrating, visiting, traveling, and indulging in activities requiring a fair distance of commuting. Malls, restaurants, and other places of interest are witnessing an increased number of visitations where the parents do not mind tugging along their younger ones. As such, a question arises as to why sending their wards to schools alone should be creating apprehensions and misgivings amongst the parents? Deserves to be relooked in right earnest as delaying reopening of schools perpetually serves little purpose.
- There are alternative methods of teachings available as per the Union Education Ministry guidelines viz. continuation of online learning alongside offline, no mandatory attendance, shifts to accommodate students to follow social distancing norms, apart from provisioning of sanitizers, wearing of masks, etc. Thus, the time is right to start schools for higher grades now. Living with the virus is the new norm. Let us follow WMD – Wash, Mask, and Distance – diligently.