Editorial | A note of caution

The decision to open schools must have been a difficult one for the concerned authorities. For the school management, it is even more difficult as they have to ensure that nothing adverse happens, since the pandemic is still there. But it is the parents who are in the most difficult situation. On the one hand they do want their children to join schools, as it has now been a very long gap. But on the other hand they are apprehensive about the health and life of their children. Though the element of choice has been offered, still it is a difficult  situation for the parents. As the students have been away from their schools for more than a year, they want to be back to schools. The element of excitement – meeting friends, and playing outdoors – is hard to resist for them. But for the parents the choice is not so easy. After all it is the life of the children that is threatened in case the disease is contracted by them. In this scenario it is not just the SOPs that will have to be followed, but the decision of opening up the schools has also to be closely monitored.

What is also important is to make it more calibrated than it is now. Rather than attending schools on alternate days, it would be better if the children are asked to attend twice a week, and that to for a short duration. That would give all the stakeholders time to observe the situation, and minimize risk. At the same time those who choose to skip schools should be offered offline classes – in whatever format. The first thing that needs to be taken care of is the safety of our children. Nothing should be done to harm lives, or health of students. And we should not make the opening up of schools an event, but a process. Let the things start moving gradually, but safely.