Need for caution
It has been barely few weeks that the educational institutions have been allowed to operate in Jammu and Kashmir following the improvement in Covid-19 situation after nine months of closure and lockdowns.
However, the past few days have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of covid cases which includes students and teachers as well. The emergence of covid cases among students has forced the authorities to cloe down more than seven educational institutions.
Though the fight against Covid-19 is getting more and more organized after the announcement of a vaccine and subsequent inoculations that started country wide, various sectors which had come to a grinding halt have started looking for some positive developments. One such sector is the education sector.
Many states across India have been working hard to get the schools re-opened for class work so that the precious time that was wasted during the lockdowns can be compensated. The sector has witnessed a closure for almost one and a half year now and the students too have been away from their class rooms for quite long now. The higher education is one sector that needed immediate opening.
Though we understand that at the junior level the class work can afford to remain suspended for some more time, but when it comes to higher levels, continuing with the closure can prove disastrous.
Right now we have initiated the fight against the novel coronavirus as even a vaccine candidate is being administered to front line healthcare and other workers. Besides, all those people who are aged more than 45 years have started to get jabs from today.
This means that within a few months the next levels of population will start getting the vaccine dose thus safeguarding a larger chunk of population every month.
However, all said and done the decision to open up education sector remains a trick one as has been proved by the increased cases of covid among students and teachers since the past several days.
All this points out to one issue and that is ensuring strict guidelines and SOP’s besides working on a well thought out strategy so that the class work as well as the examination schedule is ensured that will benefit the students without putting them to trouble or any sort of health risks.
Besides, appropriate arrangements for personal protection gears like face covers or masks, and other logistics like hand sanitisers, soap, sodium hypochlorite solution and other such items should be made available by universities, educational institutions, examination conducting authorities or examination centres to the staff as well as students as per the requirements.
The authorities can also devise a plan to maintain a minimum number of students in the class so that all norms including social distancing are maintained. Besides, the online mode can also be put to use simultaneously so that the risks of transmitting the infection can be minimized.