The administration is taking steps to resume offline classes at schools and colleges in Pune. Although the civic body claims to be ready to deal with the anticipated third wave and reported cases of variants of the virus, what steps need to be taken to ensure that students, staff and those connected with the management of the institution are not at risk of a potential virus? Readers share their views.
After the cases of the second wave, avoid the reopening of schools
It is true that online education cannot replace the in-person teaching experience. Children are now glued to screens from morning to night and due to the current situation it seems there is no way out. But as a parent, the idea of sending children to school always seems risky. We have seen that adults do not follow the Covid prevention rules. It is a difficult task to control the behavior of children when they get together with their friends. Although all teaching, non-teaching and support staff are immunized, childhood immunizations have not yet started. So how are we going to make sure the virus doesn’t spread among them? I think parents would feel a lot safer if the Covid vaccine for children was available and after a large portion of the section is vaccinated, schools reopen. Even in the case of adults, cases were recorded even after full vaccination. So even if the administration says that the Covid health infrastructure for children is ready, learning from the second wave, it is not necessary to take risks.
Reopening of schools under Covid security cover
Some parents are skeptical about the reopening of schools, but there is also a large part of them who are ready to send students to educational institutions. Although it is recognized that the functioning of educational institutions will not be what it was before the pandemic, we still have to find a way to reopen them. It is the business of the whole generation. Recently I read in the newspapers that a task force recommended guidelines for reopening schools. All stakeholders should think about it. With some adjustments and precautions, schools could be reopened. Teachers and non-teaching staff go to school for daily work. With few classes and lots of students, offline courses could be restarted.
Obligation for students to follow safety standards
I missed my campus life. Most of my friends have taken at least the first dose of the vaccine. With proper precautions and fully immunized attendance, I believe offline courses can be restarted. It is the personal responsibility of everyone to follow the appropriate behaviors for Covid. College students are adults and they should be responsible for following these standards. In addition, colleges should maintain sanitation and hygiene on campus and classrooms. University canteens could be a major hotspot for the transmission of the virus. We must therefore ensure that the rules are respected there too. In addition, most of the outstation students have given up their hostels and PG rooms. Appropriate guidelines will need to be issued for these institutions if students are to return for offline courses.
Reopening schools will help working parents
Working parents face problems caring for children when schools are closed. Parents who work from home may get by, but those who have to quit their respective jobs face many challenges. Additionally, children’s screen time has increased exponentially. A solution must be found to resolve this problem. There is still a risk of Covid infection, but offline courses for higher standards could be arranged. With vaccination, behavior and vigilance adapted to Covid, classes can resume on campuses. Students miss the experience of offline schooling and this is important for their personality development.
Restart schools with 25% student numbers
Schools have restarted in villages where no cases of Covid have been reported. In the city, it is difficult to implement because the students come from all the localities. Instead of having offline lessons for all at the same time, the number of students in a batch should be kept at 25% and parents can drop them off at school instead of taking a school bus. While this will cause inconvenience to many, it is worth keeping the safety of students and school staff in mind. The children became irritated and frustrated while sitting at home. School or colleges are places of socialization for them. Once the vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff is completed, schools could be reopened with only 1 or 2 classes. Then gradually, he could resume completely. There is still a risk of a third wave, but we cannot be sure how many of these waves. So instead of shutting down our lives, we have to find a way around it. Now, when Covid cases are low, we can try to store as much normal life experience with appropriate Covid behavior before another possible wave presents itself.
Reopen offline courses for undergraduate and postgraduate programs
The reopening of educational institutions, especially for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, should be considered by the government. Although education is delivered through an online format, there are many aspects of the campus education system that not only improve the effectiveness of learning and teaching, but also contribute to the overall development of students. It can be reopened in stages with priority for final year students. However, I believe that reopening should only be considered when the vaccination of all staff at the educational institution and students is completed with two injections of the vaccine. While the reopening of primary and secondary school campuses may be suspended for this school year as vaccines for the under-18 age group are not yet available.
Organize offline courses for students who do not have access to online tools
While the administration may take steps to reopen schools and colleges, it is important for us to remember that the pandemic is not over yet. Resuming offline classes in areas with high positivity rates and online learning possible is a recipe for disaster. However, some students living in rural areas do not have access to the tools necessary for online education. Therefore, schools and colleges are expected to be reopened while online education continues. Students who can continue their studies online should be encouraged to do so; while other students should have an offline education option available to them. When reopening schools and colleges, social distancing standards must be met and proper disinfection must be maintained. Vaccines should be distributed quickly to all who need them immediately. Hoping to see a positive change in the future!
Staff should be fully immunized
To ensure a safe environment for students, all necessary precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing, hand sanitization, and temperature checks should be followed before entering campus. Schools and colleges should regularly disinfect classrooms and toilets to maintain hygiene. The civic body must prioritize the vaccination of staff members. If the courses are organized in several batches, this will provide adequate security and reduce the risk of infection.