Visakhapatnam

Plan to reopen schools evokes mixed response

We are giving priority to the vaccination of teachers and they are being given the jab irrespective of their age, says the DMHO   | Photo Credit: File photo K.R. Deepak

The proposal of the State government to reopen schools from August 16 even as the threat of third wave looms large and recent reporting of four COVID-19 positive cases among children in the district has evoked mixed response from parents, teachers and doctors.

Some people say it it not fair to stop reopening of schools and children can also get infected at social gatherings and public places. Most parents feel it is better to reopen schools, taking all precautions, instead of making them lethargic by keeping them away from school for months.

Some parents, however, feel that it is better to watch the impact of the third wave and then take a call. While the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) suggests reopening of primary schools first as younger children are less susceptible to the infection, some doctors opine that primary schools could be opened later as it is difficult to make the little children comply with COVID-19 protocols.

Visakhapatnam district has a population of around 48,00,000 and only around 38% of people are vaccinated. Those below 18 years of age have not been vaccinated so far. Medical experts say that vaccination of 60% or more of the population could result in herd immunity, said District Medical and Health Officer P.S. Suryanarayana. .“We are giving priority to the vaccination of teachers and they are being given the jab irrespective of their age. We are yet to receive guidelines from the government on vaccination of children. The percentage of children being affected is negligible and most of them are recovering as they have better immunity compared to adults,” he said.

“Some of our teachers contracted the virus through students, who were infected at home. A majority of our teachers have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Some of them had turned positive and could not be vaccinated immediately. We have prepared both online and offline action plans for conduct of classes,” says T. Sridevi, Headmistress, KDPM High School.

“While the option for online classes is always there, we have seen it is no substitute for classroom teaching. There is no assembly or gatherings in the school but children need to be educated on observing standard protocols,” she says. “All our teachers have taken the jab and we have been complying with the protocols. Confining students to the four walls of the house is making them glued to the mobile phones. Children may contract the virus from anywhere and not just schools,” says Uday Kumar, Principal of Keystone School, Seethammadhara.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 3:22:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/plan-to-reopen-schools-evokes-mixed-response/article35517603.ece

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