As the economy is re-opening in the midst of the ongoing unlocking of public life after the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision to re-open schools has prompted mixed reactions. While a number of states have agreed to reopen schools in their respective areas, following strict COVID guidelines, some other states are preparing to reopen educational institutions this week.
Just a few days after the re-opening of schools and colleges in some states, a number of students and teachers testing positive for Covid-19 is generating a sense of fear between parents and students.
After the re-opening of schools across Karnataka on January 2, more than 50 government school teachers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, spread fear among students and parents, and forced the authorities to rework their strategies.
Cases of teachers in seven districts contracted by Covid-19 have been registered. Officials in both the Department of Primary and Secondary Education are now collecting and gathering information about the number of teachers and students who have been positive since school reopening in every district. The numbers could be higher, according to sources.
A department official said that the schools in which teachers have tested positive have been closed for three days.
After halting the pace of the Corona transition, other educational institutions including schools have been opened in Bihar. Meanwhile, after news from Munger, there has been a stir in the Education Department. On Thursday, 22 students were found Corona Positive at Lal Bahadur Shastri Kisan High School, Mamai under Asarganj Block.
The Covid-19 examination of 75 children and teachers of the school was conducted by the Health Department with a rapid antigen test in which 22 children, 2 teachers, and one staff member were found corona positive.
At the same time, there was a stir between the officials of the district administration and the district health department as soon as the information was received. It was told that all 22 children found positive are aged between 14 and 15 years.
After a break of more than nine months, schools for students studying in classes 9 to 12 re-opened in the Nashik district of Maharashtra on Monday, as 62 teachers tested positive for COVID-19 before resuming their duties, officials said.
Out of 1,324 schools in rural Nashik and the city limits, as many as 846 began classes for students of standards 9 to 12, the district administration said.
As many as 1,21,579 students attended schools that had been closed since the end of March last year as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, it said.
Prior to the re-opening of the schools, RT-PCR tests were carried out on 7,063 headmasters/teachers and 2,500 non-teaching staff, according to the release. Of these, 62 headmasters/teachers and 10 non-teachers tested positive for COVID-19, it said
While emerging cases after school reopening generates some fear-Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim are among the states that have reopened schools from this month for the students of Classes 9 to 12.
While Pune, Nagpur, and Bihar will hold regular classes for only upper primary classes, Puducherry will open schools for all students of Classes 1 to 12. Delhi has already announced that schools will not be reopened in the national capital until a viral disease vaccine is available.
Safety-Risk Assessment Vital Before Reopening Of Schools
Risk assessment and management of Covid-19 are the key elements of any safety and health management system. Schools now need to devote resources to a rapid risk assessment framework and a comprehensive scheme to identify and identify appropriate measures to mitigate issues resulting from Covid-19.
An immense degree of engagement is required for this whole process of maintaining security policies, procedures, and protocols. Its assessment is not about creating reams of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible risk-control measures and the role of others in supporting them.
The guidelines are designed in India taking account of existing best practices in occupational health and safety guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Government of India, the OECD, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and the European Commission.
Regrettably, however, the demand for risk safety assessments by the Indian schools is currently lacking.More schools need to be carried out and risk assessment carried out before there are official instructions to open schools. Our children are, after all, of paramount health and safety.