India: Reopen schools after vaccination
In relation to the horrors of the nearly 17-month pandemic in India, we generally discuss the economy and the rate of growth, loss of lives, jobs and livelihoods, the most affected sectors, the lack of any significant financial relief from the government and other questions.
TV channels regularly show how movie stars and other celebrities are doing and how sports activities should be restarted. We only occasionally discuss how homebound students are coping with the crisis; we also don’t care how they are doing, but we just have chat programs with the same education experts or teachers about basically the same points over and over again.
Then there are the violent debates about taking various types of exams at relevant times. However, in recent weeks debates have increased over taking the final exams for the 10th and 12th grades, which ended up ending with all states deciding to declare results without taking exams and based on online tests and the two-year global assessment, but almost no discussions are taking place about how students in vast rural areas are coping without having access to digital devices and internet connections. And now the reopening of schools is being debated, mainly in elementary education, as the situation seems to be softening in several states. 12+ upper classes are only partially being held in some states, although this is subject to parental consent letters.
We salute the millions of parents for taking care of their children within the four walls doing everything possible to keep them mentally stable, providing them with time and facilities, feeding them well and allowing them to occasional recreational activities whenever their respective colonies and societies ease restrictions on walking, cycling and playing on campus or in parks depending on the status of infections.
The loss suffered by the students is enormous, considering their interaction, lack of personal with friends and teachers, and an almost dismal future that lies ahead of their future admissions and educational choices and activities. Taking all these factors into account, schools should reopen as soon as possible, and some states are actively considering keeping parents confidential.