West Bengal has no plans to open schools now

Whenever school campuses reopen, students in higher classes will be the first to start offline classes and not those at the primary level, the educational department official said.

West Bengal has no plans to open schools now
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New Delhi: The West Bengal government has no plans to open schools in the near future as there is the threat of a third wave of Covid-19, a senior official said.

Whenever school campuses reopen, students in higher classes will be the first to start offline classes and not those at the primary level, the educational department official said. The final decision on these issues will be made at the top level of the government, he added further.

He was responding to queries about ICMR Director General Balram Bhargavas’s statement in Delhi that it would be wise to reopen schools in the country with the primary section as children can handle viral infections much better than adults.

Bhargava, however, stressed that for such a step to be considered, it must be ensured that school teachers and other support staff members are vaccinated.

Going by the recommendations of the health experts in the state, the possibility of a third wave attack which may affect children more and the high rate of coronavirus infection even two months ago, the school education department “is in no undue haste” to open primary, secondary and higher secondary schools now or in the immediate future, he said.

“We had sought to start on-campus classes at secondary and higher secondary levels in February before the second wave. But the virulence of the pandemic changed the situation and campus activities had to be entirely stopped, “the official said.

Public health expert Dr Joydeb Roy said that it would not be wise to start on-campus primary classes without waiting for some more time as the threat of the third wave of the pandemic is looming large.

“Vaccinating all the staff, including teachers, should be the pre-condition for opening the campus. The resumption of classroom teaching should not be made at the current situation and it should start with higher classes, “Roy said.

Preparing the groundwork for reopening schools, which includes vaccination, should be undertaken in the meantime, the eminent doctor said.

(With input from PTI)