Like with many other aspects of our life, the pandemic has dealt a serious blow on the education sector as well. The government has been mulling over the idea for some time and finally announced that all schools and colleges will be reopening on March 30, after a gap of more than a year. We believe it could have come sooner, but we presume that the government had its own justification and supporting facts for keeping the educational institutions closed for as long as it did.
After all, our education institutions do not impart class-room oriented teachings only. Many of them are the only place where the students can participate in games and sports, given the paucity of playing fields in the residential areas. It is obvious that being cooped up in one's house for even a short period of time can be very off putting for young children; but to be restricted to one's house without the chance to meet one's school friends for as long as a year can take its toll on the psyche of young students. Moreover, as far as learning goes, online classes have their limitations apart from the reality that only a small percentage of students, particularly at the secondary level in outlying districts, have access to it. However, we wonder why in person classes at the primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels will commence in phases. But if it has to do with reasons of health safety, that should take priority. We expect all precautions would be adopted to ensure that attending classes will be safe as well as beneficial. We would also like to believe that like the front-line workers, who were given priority for Covid-19 vaccination, the teachers and other employees of the educational institutions would be vaccinated on priority basis before the schools open.