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Fortunately we all have come to a situation where ‘caution’ and ‘precautions’ have become the watchwords of ‘normal’ life. Covid-19 has caused inestimable damage to human life, shattering norms in sphere.

Despite reeling under the impact of the pandemic, the governments in many states, including Telangana, are readying to reopen schools. At this point, nobody knows at what cost. Reopening schools implies a lot. Students will not be airlifted from homes to schools. They will take crowded buses. Apart from enough number of buses, schools need to be equipped with everything that prevents Covid infection so as to shield students completely. That is a tall order.

We are yet to overcome the impact of the second wave and the third way is said to be round the corner. Are we prepared to cope with the impending third wave? What steps have been taken to shield the future citizens of India from the virus? Just reopening schools is not enough. The authorities should have taken all precautionary steps before announcing the reopening of schools. We have had a bad experience of opening schools and closing them immediately after the surge of the second wave.

It is a fact that virtual classes have had a negative psychological impact on students, with everyone glued to smart phones or laptops for hours together during classes. The governments had made arrangements to make online classes trouble-free and tension-free. During the last two years schools have been virtually abandoned, with even basic staff not attending to their duties due to fear of Covid.

As education has become a lucrative business, many educational institutions do not flinch from admitting students into different courses even if they do not have the capacity to accommodate them. Most of the classrooms are overcrowded. For a classroom that can accommodate 20 students, double the number is admitted. It means students will never have proper space among them, let alone social distancing norms of keeping alternate seats vacant.

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After the second wave peaked, claiming a lot of human lives, oxygen plants were opened in most of the hospitals. Now everything said to be ‘right’. Restrictions on cinema halls have been lifted. Ultimately, students, whether they go to schools or cinema halls, will be exposed to the virus. Are all the schools or classrooms spacious enough to accommodate students as per the prescribed norms? Except for a few private and government schools or colleges, most of the educational institutions are in a bad shape.

They operate in private and congested buildings with no proper ventilation in the classrooms. In this pathetic condition, if schools and colleges are allowed to open, and students attend classes; will there be a shield to protect them from the deadly Covid, particularly the Delta variant that is spreading fast? So, pragmatic steps are required to prevent incalculable damage. Even nations that have the best of medical facilities are cautious in this regard.

In spite of massive vaccination and spacious schools, they are protective of students’ lives. There is strict implementation of Covid norms. Medical experts are warning that the new wave is slow in spread, but will be massive in its impact. The rising Covid cases Kerala is indicative of this.

All told, the vaccination of Indians leaves much to be desired. Against this background, if schools and colleges are opened, where is the guarantee that nothing untoward will not happen? Opening of educational institutions can wait.

The spread of the virus must be contained first. For that to happen, a well-planned strategy is needed. As students are engaged with virtual classes, there is no urgency in driving them to schools or colleges without making the institutes completely safe. #KhabarLive #hydnews

Telangana government mandating physical classes from September 1, is causing serious concern among parents.

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The safety of children, who are required to go to school starting September 1 with the government mandating physical classes from that date, is causing serious concern among parents.

It is not that parents do not want to send their children to school, it is just that the absence of assurance of safety against Covid-19 once out of home is what appears to be holding parents back from fully backing the government decision to reopen schools for physical classes.

“I do not have the kind of money to take care of my six-year-old daughter if something happens to her. But, with no online classes, I have to send my daughter to school because I do not want her to miss any class,” says Kavita Konaboina.

For Namish Mehta, sending his two children to school is not a difficult choice to make, provided every safety and sanitation measure is attended to. The school they go to has security cameras and parents should be given access to them so they can check how things are being run, he says.

It is not just the practically enforced sending of children to schools that is bothering parents. Crowding, says Ashwin Kumar, is a serious concern.

“I have two little daughters going to the same school, but should I take the risk when there is no vaccination available for children,” he asks.

On other hand, social media platforms such as Twitter, some parents worried over how easy it was for their kids to catch a cold or a fever, while others were hoping that the state will have a change of mind and allow a mix of online and in person classes, so parents can choose an option that works best for them.

There is utter confusion among school and college managements, and parents, on the reopening for physical classes from September 1 as the state government continues to push educational institutions to reopen their doors to students.

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Not every parent wants to send his or her child to school given the fact that there has been no assurance from the government on student safety other than ordering that every school and college should take up a thorough physical cleaning.

A post on Facebook that asked the question “How many of you are ready to send your kids back to schools or colleges from 1st September?”, and the responses to it pretty much summed up the mood with respect to how ready people are to see their children back in classrooms.

“Once the Covid caller tune ends then we will think,” was one witty response, but that summed up the biggest worry over sending children to schools and colleges – the possibility of children catching Covid-19.

On other social media platforms such as Twitter, some parents worried over how easy it was for their kids to catch a cold or a fever, while others were hoping that the state will have a change of mind and allow a mix of online and in person classes, so parents can choose an option that works best for them.

The challenges of safety, and student attendance are particularly acute when it comes to primary classes with children as young as five years being required to attend physical classes.

“The parents are not ready, we are also not ready to have little kids in classes. Some children may be looking forward to going to school because they may be missing out on playing with friends. But if something happens to a kid, can the parents take it? The school managements I am certain, cannot,” said Suman Earth, founder and chairman of Abode Montessori and Multiple Intelligence School. “No chance can be taken with pre-school and primary school students,” he added. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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