Education

When Will Schools Reopen in India? Govt Clears Air

Schools Reopening News 2021: With coronavirus cases beginning to drastically drop in India over the last weeks, talks have been growing regarding the reopening of schools. However, as India begins unlocking of COVID-19 restrictions, experts have warned that a third wave is “inevitable”. After a horrifying second wave and speculations that the next pandemic wave may affect children, NITI Aayog (health) member Dr VK Paul cleared some doubts concerning parents, children and teachers and said that the government will consider reopening of schools only when majority of teachers and staff are vaccinated. Also Read – Haryana School Reopening 2021: Will Classes Resume in Phased Manner After June 30? Latest Updates Students Must Know 

Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Dr VK Paul on Friday said that, “A lot of things need to be considered while deciding on the reopening schools. This is a question that keeps coming up.” Also Read – Kerala Sets up ‘Sanitiser Booths’ at Schools For Safety of Students as Classes Resume

“The time should come soon. But we must also consider how schools were reopened in foreign countries and they had to close after the outbreak. We do not want to put our students and teachers in such a situation,” Dr Paul said. Also Read – Delhi Govt Issues SOP For Nursery Till Class 8: No Offline Exams, Assessments to be on Project Work

The NITI Aayog member explained that reopening schools before the pandemic settles or till sufficient people are vaccinated against the viral infection.

“…we should also remember that in many countries schools reopened, then outbreaks were reported and they had to shut them down again. We don’t want to put our children and teachers in that situation unless we have more confidence that the pandemic won’t harm us. Discussion on reopening of schools remains a part of the larger discourse but information that seroprevalence remain equal among children will be useful data,” he said.

The NITI Aayog member’s statement comes after a WHO-AIIMS survey which stated that the COVID-19 seroprevalence in the age group below 18 is 55.7 per cent and above 18 is 63.5 per cent. The survey clarified that the SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate in children is comparable to that in adults, hence, there is no statistical evidence to show that children of age group 2-17 years will be more vulnerable in the third wave.

Schools have been shut in India since the end of March last year when the COVID-19 pandemic began. While some states started reopening schools for a brief period towards the end of first wave, all schools were shut again when the deadly second wave pandemic broke out.

In other news, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) released the detailed assessment plan for the tabulation of marks for the Class 12 board examination 2021 and stated that the marks scored by students in their Class 10, 11 and 12 would be considered in place of the cancelled Class 12 examination in the ratio of 30%, 30% and 40%. On Friday, the board also released a notification announcing that an IT system is being developed to assist schools in the preparation of Class 12 results.

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