Whenever the talk about opening up the schools gains pitch, we have a parallel development happening; the covid cases go up, and there are fatalities also reported.
This has almost attained a pattern. One doesn’t want to conjure up a theory that there is any relationship between the two, but just to underline it as a matter of fact.
This time around the results of the annual exams were declared in almost all the schools, and parents put the question to school authorities regarding the opening up of schools.
The matter once again shot to surface. Some of the school bodes publicly requested the concerned authorities to take a decision on this. But unfortunately we saw a rise in covid cases, and the government declared many areas in Srinagar as micro-containment zones. So the question, once again, remains unanswered.
Will the schools open up, or remain closed till we are sure that our children are risk free in schools. What are the realistic answers to this question. The private schools, where most of our children are studying, have a reason to press for the opening up of schools. These reason are managerial as well as financial.
Both are valid, as most of the schools have suffered all these months. On the other hand the concerned departments in the government are not ready to take any risks as it involves the lives of our children. This is an equally valid position, if not more.
But beyond this there are certain things to look into. One, how are the schools in other states of India functioning, and what kind of decisions have the concerned departments in other states taken in this regard? Two, is the opening up of schools contingent on the vaccination of below 18 population? Three, If things remain the way they are, what are the necessary conditions to open up the schools? Four, in case it is found reasonably safe to open up the schools what should be that incremental way of opening up the schools.
The concerned departments and the managements of the schools should hold an open dialogue on all these questions, rather than remaining suspended in this uncertainty of opening up or not opening up the schools. A sustained discussion on these points can pave the way for a better decision in this regard.