In India, the year 2021 came with the hope of getting rid of Corona pandemic as in the beginning of the year government started world’s largest vaccination campaign and following this India also witnessed the decline in the cases of coronavirus. People then only started to live normally but unexpected arrival of second wave of Covid has ruined all the positivity from the surroundings. The deadly spread of mutant coronavirus once again affected the education system across the globe after last year. Now, when will government announce the news of schools reopening in India in 2021 after a decline in the spread of second wave, is the biggest question that is popping up in everybody’s mind. In India, since last week of March, schools have been closed due to the spread of COVID-19 across most of the states including Uttar Pradesh (UP). Schools in India’s largest state have been also closed for around three months. As state governments have been lifting lockdown restrictions gradually in multiple stages, a decision on school reopening was still awaited. But with the cases coming down, the UP government has now decided to reopen the schools in 2021.
After second wave of coronavirus wreaking havoc throughout the country, the graph of the spread has come down. However, reports of third wave of Corona coming anytime in future months have been in news. In this scenario, is reopening of the schools safe for children as medical researchers have warned about the third wave of Covid- 19?
When will Schools be Reopened in UP?
The state government of Uttar Pradesh has recently announced that they’re planning to reopen the schools for classes 1 to 8 from July 1 as the COVID-19 cases are decreasing. Last year teachers and students were taking the classes through online mode during lockdown as well as unlocking. However, schools started reopening around the last quarter of 2020 and classroom learning commenced step by step. After the outbreak of second wave of the pandemic during March-April in 2021, educators had to resume the online classes as schools were locked again. Now, after around 2 months, as state is witnessing a fall in the positive cases of coronavirus, state government has also released some of the restrictions. Now, the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath led government is planning to open government’s primary and upper primary schools across the state.
As per the reports, the government will re-open around 1.5 lakh schools from July 1 onwards. The secretary of Basic Shiksha Parishad has recently issued an order in which the details about the reopening of schools are given. The report says that the schools will reportedly reopen only for teachers and staff for administrative work. However, students will continue to study through online mode till further notice. The schools can conduct admissions for the new academic session and can manage their other work such as distribution of free books and maintenance of the building, salary distribution, etc. The department of BSA is instructed to deposit the allotted money for the mid-day meals directly in the account of students or their parents. Moreover, the state government has not taken any decision yet regarding the schools reopening for the students of classes 9 to 12.
When are Schools Reopening in Other States?
Unlike Uttar Pradesh, its neighboring states Delhi and Haryana have not taken such a decision so far. Even Haryana Government has extended the summer vacation till June 30. On the other hand, Delhi Government ordered schools to remain closed till further orders. The state government of Tamil Nadu has not issued any official notice up till now regarding the schools reopening in state. However, the admission process for private schools has begun in the state, so it is being speculated that before the entrance exams like JEE, NEET, etc. schools might reopen to allow students to prepare for them.
Maharashtra has been the worst-hit state by the outbreak of second wave. So, the state government had earlier announced summer vacations from May 1 to June 13. Now, when the situation has settled to a certain extent, the officials will resume online classes from June 28. No official information regarding the physical classes has been given by the state government. Other states are also planning for schools reopening, mostly for the administrative work initially. Students will take classes through online mode till further notice.
Is It Safe to Open Schools Amid the Danger of Third Wave?
The outbreak of Covid-19 has created havoc across the whole world. In the first wave, India witnessed surge in the positive cases but the situation seemed to be in control as it is believed that immunity of Indians was high in comparison to other countries. But the mutated virus in second wave has shattered this believe and it was the worst time periods in the history of independent India when the country recorded death cases in such large numbers. The current situation is not only unsafe for children but also not favorable for the adults. If classes are have to be conducted online than why it is necessary for teachers to go to schools and take classes from there? The possibility of third wave is also indicating that it will not be safe for the children to attend schools in this situation. Even teachers and other school staff might be the carriers of virus which might infect children as well as other people.
Decision regarding reopening of schools and commencement of classes should be taken after considering all risks and taking all the preventive measures to safeguard the health of the citizens.
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