After a gap of around 20 months, schools and colleges in the state will reopen from November 16, Mamata Banerjee said on Monday and directed the chief secretary to facilitate the process.
The government will issue a notification for resuming classroom teaching from classes 9 to 12. Reopening of schools for other classes’ decisions will be made later depending on the emergent pandemic situation, the school education department official said.
Banerjee told Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi, Cleaning and other measures should be carried out, at an administrative review meeting at Uttar Kanya, the branch secretariat of the state government in Siliguri in north Bengal.
“Earlier, I had said educational institutions will reopen on November 15. But since that is a holiday (tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary), schools will now reopen on November 16,” she said.
“As per the preliminary plans, students of junior classes till Class 8 will continue to have online classes and they do not need to be present at schools physically. Plans are being made for reopening colleges,” state secretariat source told PTI.
Doctors and educationists welcomed the decision to reopen educational institutions which have been closed since March 2020 and they said institutes should be reopened in a phased manner.
Dr. Abhijit Chowdhury, a gastroenterologist said “Children have been eagerly waiting for the schools to reopen. This was needed for a long time. But we must also not forget about the precautionary measures needed to be taken for the children attending physical classes,”.
Dr. Syamasis Bandyopadhyay, a senior physician said, “Online classes are like child’s play. I thank the CM for taking such a positive decision. Children have been eagerly waiting for schools and colleges to reopen. Now that the decision has been made, I believe that it will help them a lot.”
Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, an educationalist said, “Students have suffered a lot due to closure of educational institution campuses for over one-and-a-half years. The decision by the CM is welcome. But since the Covid situation still hasn’t gone and there has been a rise in infection in the state, we need to tread with caution. Schools should be opened in a phased manner,”.
Ranjana Roy Choudhury, the headmistress of Manimala High School at Asansol in Paschim Bardhaman district said students of higher and lower classes should be allowed to attend classes on different days to avoid crowding.
Parimal Bhattacharya, the headmaster of Kolkata’s Jadavpur Vidyapith, said the school administration has initiated steps to sanitize the premises before the puja vacation. “We are planning to start higher classes in groups and make seating arrangements accordingly. We will go by the notification of the school education department,”
Siuli Sarkar, the principal of Lady Brabourne College in Kolkata, said, “We are ready to open our campus for offline classes where students will sit keeping a distance and in small batches. We will decide on the modalities once the government order is issued.”
Source- The Indian Express