According to UNESCO, over 1.57 billion students have been affected by school closures in more than 190 countries during the pandemic. The number of children infected with Coronavirus is comparatively low than the adults; part of the reason is that it is more prevalent in those aged above 15 years. The country has been in a state of lockdown for more than four months now and in situations like these where governments have been making statements such as “In this war against coronavirus, your mere survival is a win.” The idea of reopening schools seems like inviting the virus to our own home.
In a recent function at Delhi Secretariat, the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal said “I want to assure parents that we care about your children as much as you do. Unless fully convinced, we are not going to open the schools. The safety and health of your children are very important to us.”
In a recent study by WHO professionals, they have stated that “risk-based” approaches should be maximized for the educational and health-benefits for students, teachers and the staff. Delhi has recently seemed to be saying goodbye to the virus as the numbers of cases seem to be going drastically down. In a situation like this, when social distancing has played a major role to break the chain, this practice should continue until the virus completely leaves the system of the city.
- The parents are unwilling to send their kids away from home because deep down, life is more important than education.
- If they do send, the chances of the spread of this virus will be ultimate and Delhi will have to start all over again.
- The country knows that while children may form a small proportion of the cases and most of them suffer mild symptoms, there have been rare cases of severe illness among children. And if it affects one child, the entire educational system will suffer a severe setback.
A recent survey by an NGO based in Delhi stated that the parents are unwilling to send their kids even if the government reopens the schools because apparently “Suraksha pehle; Siksha Baad mein.”
What is the actual Status of Online Education and Teaching?
Coming to another dilemma of the unavailability of Digital Resources- the Ministry of Human Resource Development has asked the schools and universities to complete their academic year online. While this sounds like a perfect solution to stop the COVID chain and continue with education, a lot of people have limited access to the resources and this might be a hindrance for them. Adding to the issue, the broadband accessibility in India is quite low. One way to solve this would be to train the teachers and the students accordingly.
In situations like these, the elder teachers have been struggling to keep up with the drastic changes the most. While the regular classes are their cup of tea, teaching online and learning online is something they are scared to try their hands on. Having said that, if the city is still keen on opening the educational institutions, a lot of measures should be undertaken; the students and the workforce has to be sanitized while entering and exiting the campus.
Social distancing has to be maintained, the management has to make sure that at least 1 meter of distance is maintained by each individual at every point. Regular checkup facility has to be installed on the campus. From where I see it, a lot of educational institutions don’t have enough financial resources to take adequate measures for the prevention of Coronavirus. I would like to end, ‘will School reopen in Delhi 2020’, on a note that being able to live is more important to be able to make a living.
Moreover, You can read our latest Blog on Unlock 4.0, Education and Survival.