Shillong, Apr 29: Over 85% of people out of over 3800 who participated in a poll by Shillong Mail, said that schools should not reopen as yet, in view of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 15% of people voted for the reopening of schools and educational institutions.
On Sunday, the Meghalaya Education Department informed that an action plan is for the reopening schools, if lockdown is not extended. However, on Monday, the Chief Minister said that lockdown is likely to be extended post-lockdown after May 3.
Netizens suggested that schools should open only when the state records zero positive case. The state currently has 11 active positive COVID-19 cases and there has been no recovery.
Most netizens who voted against, said that they would not risk sending their children to school or educational institutions for the time being. They felt that schools should be reopened only when the Pandemic gets over.
Although, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 available, the WHO’s global database research says that there are seven vaccine candidates developed by British, Chinese, German and U.S Scientists which have entered human trials.
A netizen suggested that schools can be opened in rural villages but not in urban areas, especially Shillong and that the safety of students is priority.
Another netizen pointed out that children will not adhere to social distancing norms and that even if one child tests positive for the virus, it will not be possible to contain the situation.
Several people felt that children will be at risk in schools, and that there is no guarantee that social distancing and sanitation norms will be followed.
One netizen stated that any guidelines provided from the Education Department will only be confined to the classroom and pointed that several other factors will have to be looked into, such as transportation through buses, pool cars and other public vehicles.
The commenter added that guidelines will have to be issued by various departments if they plan on reopening schools.
Netizens also said that online classes should be conducted by all schools in the state instead of regular classes.
One particular netizen suggested that odd-even system can be applied to students by their roll numbers to maintain social distancing in classrooms.
A commenter who voted for reopening of schools said that despite the crisis, ‘other more serious functions’ are ongoing, so there was no reason not to reopen schools.