In light of the recent surge in covid cases across the country, schools and colleges in many states were shut down temporarily to curb the spread of the virus. Punjab was among those states which ordered the closing down of all educational institutions till January 15 as a preventive measure. However, the Director of School Education on Monday extended the holidays for schools and colleges till January 25 and demanded the continuation of online classes for students.
Punjab logged 7849 COVID-19 cases on January 19 with a test positivity rate of 18.94%. The government has introduced various curbs to contain the Omicron variant causing the third wave in India. But resentments are arising on the part of several school authorities due to the continuous closure of schools and colleges. Many people have asked for the reopening of educational institutions for those students who are vaccinated.
Impact on schools and colleges
School and college authorities cite the economic crisis faced by them along with the mental health issues of the students who are forced into studying online for the past two years. Since new variants of COVID keep coming at regular intervals, people find it useless to keep the educational institutions shut for long. Since many European countries have already started considering COVID-19 as an endemic, the school authorities are of the opinion that people should prepare themselves to fight the virus rather than sitting behind closed doors. Parents have also given their nods to reopen the schools with 50% capacity.
The closure of the educational institutions affects the future of the students and hence the country, therefore it cannot be closed indefinitely. The schools in Punjab will be opened once the number of COVID-infected people in the state gets lower. The government order on the opening of schools and other educational institutions can be expected anytime soon.
Since the schools and colleges across the country remained closed for almost two years it has affected the students and teachers alike. There are reports of primary students not being able to read or write properly because of the inadequate mentoring in the offline classes that they get.
States like Maharashtra have already decided to reopen schools from Monday, January 24, with rising demands from all parts of the state to start offline classes. Karnataka, also an epicenter of COVID cases, did not shut down colleges and higher secondary schools during the third wave. The review meeting called in Kerala has also not taken any decision to close educational institutions unless there are clusters formed.