Schools And Colleges Reopening In August: Is It A Wise Decision?

Hanima Anand |Jun 09, 2020

When the announcement of schools and colleges reopening was made public, it faced a lot of criticism from the mass. Does the government have any reasonable argument behind this?

According to the latest information, all schools and colleges will need to prepare for the upcoming reopening phase from August 1 to September 1, 2020.

Current students will come back schools and colleges during August, depending on the school curricular while newly registered learners should join classes on September 1. All registration activities, therefore, should be complete before August ends.

Schools And Colleges Reopening In India 1
Students will be back to school and follow social distancing measures.

In response to this announcement, many parents have voiced their disapprovals, concerning about the risk of coronavirus contraction.

A father of a school kid shared his opinion:

"It's stupidity to re-open school because kids cannot properly follow the precautions. They can maintain social distance in class but what about in front of school gate, buses etc.?"

Like this dad, many parents can’t let their kids just go outside when the pandemic is still raging the country without any insurance.

Parents made good points

It’s totally understandable why Indian parents are freaking out when hearing the news.

The number of coronavirus cases in the country has reached over 256,610 while the death toll increases nonstop recently (update real-time reports of coronavirus here). India, clearly, hasn’t reach its peak yet but still decided to unlock.

If comparing the time when countries in the world reopen shops and schools, we will see how “irrational” it is to unlock during this period.

Schools And Colleges Reopening In India 2
Unlock timeline comparison between India and other countries.

While most countries wait for the coronavirus curves to go down after it has passed the peak, India choose an opposite strategy.

This policy may have to pay a costly price when thousands of containment zones may burst out when people are set free on the streets.

Another argument made by parents is the availability of online courses.

"When schools claim they are doing a good job via virtual learning, why not continue it for the rest of the academic year?"

Schools And Colleges Reopening In India 3
Most parents would rather let their kids stay at home than go to school at that time.

Almost all school and college students are getting familiar with online learning, we can absolutely support the continuation of this method if it proves efficient. Studies, anyway, could be delayed but lives, once threatened, are hard to save back.

Reasons from the government

Of course, the government has its own reasons to decide that way.

Firstly, schools and colleges reopening will be done gradually with careful supervision, in several phases.

Schools and colleges will welcome their 30% attendance in July first to measure the possibility then all students will be back to normal classes by September. Younger students will also have longer time of remaining at home.

>>> See how Chinese made it: China: Students Are Returning To School With Isolation Hats

Schools And Colleges Reopening In India 4
Chinese wearing social distancing hats when back to schools.

Meanwhile, social distancing measurements are also applied when children are back to school. Safety guidelines will be sent to schools and colleges to ensure students’ health. Accordingly, teachers would wear masks and gloves. Thermal scanners and CCTV would be installed in schools for 24/7 supervision. The number of students on a 3-seater is reduced to 2 only, and safety reminders are present in popular corners on campus.

Secondly, regarding the argument on online learning, we can partly explain why offline classes are preferred by the government.

Not all students can afford smartphones or television to follow virtual courses. Several saddening incidents have happened, requiring more attention to disadvantaged learners.

Schools And Colleges Reopening In India 5
Many students in remote areas can't access online learning.

A Delhi mother burned herself for not being able to afford another smartphone for her second child or a Kerala student committed suicide because she couldn’t join online classes with her friends.

Obviously, a normal class would benefit more students, but in a normal situation. During this pandemic, it’s a whole different story though.

Risks outside campus

Even when all safety measures are implemented at school, many concerns about the risk outside the campus are raised for discussion.

Though students are guided to practice social distancing in the class, who would ensure they can maintain distance with others on the way to schools? Such public places as bus stations or canteens will be ideal hubs for coronavirus to spread out if one gets infected.

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It's hard to keep these schoolchildren maintain distancing when playing with friends.

Till now, the government hasn’t addressed these issues yet. Hope the authority will gather public opinion to introduce suitable measures for the well-being of both students and the entire society in unlock phases.

What’s your opinion on schools colleges reopening in this August? Leave your comment below so others can share theirs too.

>>> Related post: 400 People Put High-Risk After Attending A Funeral Not Knowing The Deceased Had Deadly coronavirus

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