Education

Is It Safe for Students to Attend School/University Amidst Pandemic?

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In India, schools and colleges are considering reopening offline classes amidst the second wave of the pandemic. The education minister and health ministry have provided one strict protocol for the university graduates. The graduate students should have taken at least a single dose of vaccine before attending the respective classes and courses. On the other hand, for school students, it is not mandatory to get vaccinated. Today we are not here to talk about the guidelines. Instead, let us go one step forward to see if things would help the pandemic end. Or will it welcome a new wave to prompt the rapid spread of the virus?

India’s population rate is comparatively high. Early this year, the Union Ministry and Health Ministry were cautious and opened the vaccine drive for senior citizens and 45 plus age. Following, it allowed 18 plus adults to get vaccinated. Right now, children belonging to any age group is permitted to get the vaccination. 

Do you think vaccinating two doses of Covaxin or Covishelid or Putnik would save students from catching the virus?

Not true. It’s not going to help the students in any way to fight viruses. It’s only going to build immunity in their system to fight the virus for a while. The vaccines are not a permanent solution to cure COVID-19. 

The government needs to scrutinise the schools and colleges to provide a safe environment for the higher secondary school, undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree students to attend offline classes.

On the contrary, COVID-19 vaccines for children are in their third trial phase. On the contrary, COVID-19 vaccines for children are in their third trial phase. It is not safe for school students to attend their offline classes when not vaccinated.

Amid the first wave, my college initiated offline classes for the UG students. The students had no choice to choose their preference for online and offline modes of education. Going back to campus never made the situation better but worse. They were many students who got infected with the virus. And my college principal succumbed to the virus and passed away last month. 

During April, the country lost thousands of people in a day over the second wave.

At this moment, if we allow the students to go back to the offline mode, we are indirectly calling for the third wave to strike back at us. 

How Are Other Countries Organising Offline Classes For Schools/Colleges?

I recently came across a post that spoke about the initiation of offline classes in Denmark. It was the first European country to restart after closure. In April, all students were back to school. But under certain conditions. In the first phase of reopening, children under 12 age were attending offline classes. And older children were attending online mode classes. 

They chose young children because the Government of Denmark saw fewer health risks in them. But they followed few guidelines. The students were required to maintain 6 feet (2meters) of separation in class. The limited number of students were 10 to 12 to follow social distancing. 

Moreover, to using primary school classrooms, the schools used outside areas, gyms and secondary classrooms. 

Do You Think India Will Be Able To Follow This?

It is impossible. While I attended my class a few months back, I was paranoid. Hundreds of students were sitting in a class with no social distancing. I carried sanitiser and disinfected sprays to clean my tables every day. It did not feel safe if you are a parent, elder sibling or anyone who knows a child attending offline school. Please ensure that the schools are strictly following the safety measures and guidelines. 

The Indian school classroom comprises sixty to eighty students. It might be stressful to handle and manage in an unreliable environment. So think before you could send your child to school. The younger children would not understand the ongoing situation. As adults, we need to take precautions and be cautious. 

We do not know when the third wave might strike. The predictors believe it could affect the children if we don’t follow healthy measures. 

PS: If anyone of you reading this article attends college, how do you feel? And do you think it is safe for the children to attend schools?

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