Should Schools and Colleges be Open now

Many Questions, with no single answer

Every parent has this question in their mind. Should Schools and Colleges be open now? Is it safe to send children to Schools and Colleges? Are Schools and Colleges well equipped to manage new normal and keep children safe? Will Children follow social distancing norms? Will Children follow Covid guidelines during Schools? and many more such countless questions.

Is it safe to send children to Schools and Colleges?



Unlocking process has started

In India, Unlocking process has already started. People are allowed to move out. Shopping Malls and Shops are now open. Offices are open. Under Unlock 4.0, Central Government has allowed School and Colleges to open from 21st September 2020 with certain guidelines. Schools and Colleges can open from 21st September with teaching and non-teaching staff, in special circumstances. However regular classes will not begin until 30th September 2020. They will be allowed to operate with 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff. Every state has come out with their own guidelines. Check article from Papri Chanda which has nicely compiled summary of state-wise guidelines regarding re-opening of schools and colleges. 

But this is one side of the story.

Covid cases in India

India has become Covid Capital of the World.
On the other side, India has become Covid Capital of the world. At the time of writing this blog, Covid cases in India has touched 54 lakhs (5.4 Million) with close to 87,000 deaths due to Covid 19. Every day, the number of new cases is touching new highs. Almost one third of the new cases in world is contributed by India. India is already at No. 2, just behind USA. In next few weeks, India is expected to surpass USA in number of Covid cases.



Both these situations are contradictory to each other. Given this, it is fair if parents have multiple questions in their mind, when it is related to safety of their children.

What does parents think about?

We asked Parents what do they feel about opening up schools and colleges? 

We had more than 500 replies to this question and it was a resounding No. 97.2% of the parents said that schools and colleges should not be open. However, there are few parents who feel otherwise.

97.2% of the parents said that schools and colleges should not be opened now


What Parents are talking about?

Parents shared their feeling and many interesting views came in. Here are some snippets.

Preeti mentioned that "It would be a disaster (if Schools are open)"

Namrata says "how can one think of opening schools".  

Sufia goes one step further. She says "if schools open, I will not send my kids"

Priyanka feels that "Situation may get even worse.. as the schools don't have required infrastructure." She questions further that "Do you think the students will abide to the social distancing and precautions?". 

Sana says that Schools should open only after Vaccine is out in the market. Reema shares the same feeling. Darpan agrees to the point and mentions that "Let everything along with Parliament be opened. Once vaccination is done to all Children, then only Schools should be opened"

Swati, on the other hand, makes a brave statement and thinks that "Everyone is moving around. Parents are partying at friends place. Then how can you say no to School." She further states that "We should flow with the time because there is no end (to this menace). One should accept this fact and think that it is a mere virus and I will not be affected by this virus." She continues to say that "I see Parents unnecessary going around with kids for shopping. Many time, they go everywhere without mask. So where is virus at that time. Kids are going to face a big psychological problem while they are staying home. They too are missing School. They are going through mental stress, which is going to get more worse as time passes." She brought 2 very valid points - 
1) When parents are moving around, then why kids should stay at home. 
2) Kids are facing psychological issue staying at home. While elders can manage this situation well, it is very difficult for kids to manage it

Sneha says "Health is more important than education". She agrees that education is important, but "If kid is not healthy physically, then how he / she be able to concentrate mentally". She thinks that "It is not necessary for kids to go to school and get education, risking their lives. They can get education at home."

Aashi says that "Our kids are more important than study". Srishti says "Schools should not open this academic year". 

Navaazessh says that "Kids are studying safely from home. Restaurants, Cinema Halls, Gyms, Local trains, are closed. Most of the people are working from home. It is still unsafe in Mumbai. How schools can be safe for kids in city like Mumbai?"

Mona says "No (School / Colleges should not open). Absolutely out of question. With number of cases rising, we can't take chance with kids." She goes one step further. She says that "Even if my child is not promoted to the next class, I will still say No to opening school"

Shikha mentions that "Schools should be open for kids of people attending house parties and get together". She is bringing an important message to people who are not taking precautions.

Priya says that "Will school be responsible if anything happens to kids"

Kaavya has divergent views. She feels that schools should be opened. She says "For how long we are going to keep Schools closed? If one day children need to face the situation anyway, then why not today? Virus isn't vanishing soon, in fact, some study says it will never vanish. So we need to learn to live with it".

Alpa says that "Neither school nor Colleges should be open unless a vaccine comes out. Our children are way too precious to us. Though the kids are at loss. But once this phase passes, things will certainly get back to normal.

Summary

In summary, we appreciate the sentiments shared by parents. One message is very clear that Parents are concerned about their children. They know the risks of their Children going out. They do not want their kids to take any risks. Some are even bold enough to lose one year of their children. Safety is more prominence than anything else.

Some may agree with few comments and some may not agree. However we respect all the views from parents.


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Note: All above statements are independent views of parents. This should not be construed as our / author's views. We are not in favor or against any of the views. In no way, we endorse any of these views. We are putting efforts to bring different perspectives of parents. We are not making any recommendations in this blog. All parents should form their independent views about the situation and make decisions which is suitable to them. None of the above views should be construed as our / author's recommendations. We / Author should not be held liable for any divergent views, which are independently coming from parents.


Comments

  1. There should be no hurry in reopening of schools. The study course can be adjusted way forward. PL note many schools are used as Covid quarantine centers. Those need to be made safe first. Quarantined for sufficient time before reopening.

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