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Safety, Not Recklessness, Must Drive School Reopening

The central government as per reports,has decided to re-open the educational institutions from September 1. The Union HRD ministry guidelines for this will be issued on end of August.

Teachers want to get back to their classrooms with their students. We know the limits of remote instruction and the harm of prolonged isolation for students. We know that children best connect, learn, and thrive when they’re in school in person. Public schools feed noon meals to 113 million kids a day(excerpt from Education Ministry data,2017).This constitutes 65.2 percent of school-going children in India.

In June, 76 percent of PTA member polls said they were comfortable returning to school if public health safeguards like safe distancing, personal protective equipment(PPE), deep cleaning and ventilation were in place.No one is waiting for a vaccine, and the possibility of herd immunity is too far for a populous nation like India. But, as coronavirus cases surge, a greater concern is there- that officials reopen school buildings without appropriate conditions and protections in place.

It is pleasing to see the polished side of anything and the recovery rate of India is projected with much hype regardless of alternative or mainstream media, taking blessings from authorities. The novel Coronavirus is a new threat and the forms and mutations the virus could take are still unknown to humankind. Keeping aside the recovery rate the number of infections is breaking all records and it crossed 65,000 cases on Thursday 6th of Aug, the highest for any nation in a single day, and reached the 20 lakh mark, rightly predicted by opposition leader Rahul Gandhi 2 weeks ago. This again strikes ditto for his prediction at the end of January, urging the Indian government to be cautious of the pandemic. The projected numbers still stands debatable keeping in account WHOs persistent warnings about inadequate screening in India. The voice of opposition should be taken to heed, however feeble it is to this regard.

The Covid pandemic should be kept out of politics and the government should work constructively taking advice from WHO, AIIMS, and from veteran Opposition leaders to grace the democratic foundation of our nation. The reopening of schools should only be thought only after securing the safety of children, cause the best proof for the safety of India are healthy children, all other nationalistic niches of pride should only come secondary.


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