How soon can schools be reopened in India? Govt’s response


In light of the COVID-19 lockdown, states and Union Territories have closed schools and conducted online classes. Following the announcement on the cancellation of board exams amid the pandemic by the national and state boards, students and parents across the nation wonder when will schools reopen in India. As the Covid graph shows a decline in the daily number of cases, the Centre on Friday said it will take a call on reopening of schools only when the majority of teachers are vaccinated.

“A lot of things need to be considered while deciding on reopening schools it’s a different topic entirely. This is a question that keeps coming in the govt system,” Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog (health) member, said on Friday.

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“There are teachers, helpers. We must take every aspect into consideration before deciding on when to open the schools,” he added.

Dr Paul responded while citing the AIIMS, World Health Organization (WHO) study of equal seroprevalence among children, and claiming the cases among children have been relatively milder.

As many countries had to shut down their schools again after the Covid outbreak was reported, Dr Paul said, “We don’t want to put our children, teachers in that situation unless we have more confidence that the pandemic won’t harm us”.

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“But as vaccination coverages widen, teachers get vaccinated, we change habits and implement social distancing in everyday lives then there should come a time when schools can certainly reopen,” he added.

“Reopening schools remains a larger discourse but info that seroprevalence remains equal among children will be useful information,” Dr Paul said.