Published: 16th October 2021
Reopen lower primary schools from Oct 21, taking opinion polls from parents will only cause more delay, say experts
As the department will keep attendance optional, parents who are unwilling to send their children to schools can keep them at home, added experts
Educationists demanded for the reopening of lower primary schools (Classes I to V) on October 21, with all safety measures in place, as tentatively stated by respective departments, instead of waiting for opinion polls from parents which would delay the reopening date. This is the request of various experts from Bengaluru.
"Department is considering to discuss the issue of school reopening with parents before deciding on the opening date. This may delay the opening of schools further. Parents across the state have overwhelmingly stated that they want schools to reopen. One study found that over 95 per cent of rural parents want schools to be reopened. Parents want their children to access learning opportunities that weren't available to most during school closure. They want nutritious hot meals for their children," said experts.
As the department will keep attendance optional, parents who are unwilling to send their children to schools can keep them at home, added experts including educationist Niranjanaradhya VP.
Experts under the aegis of National Coalition on the Education Emergency demanded that hot meals should also be given to students at the same time, in compliance with the Right to Education (RTE) norms.
"Those parents who want to send their children to schools must not be deprived of the opportunity as per the Fundamental Right to Education," said Gurumurthy Kasinathan. Hence, there's no reason to further delay school reopening, said experts, who are dismayed about the department's plans to survey parents on school reopening.
Continuous school closure has had catastrophic consequences on children, including their academic, emotional, nutritional and social status, they added, highlighting the pros and cons of the matter. They said that keeping schools closed would deprive students of nutrition apart from academic, emotional and social support.