Many parents in Assam are determined not to send their wards back to schools amid COVID-19 crisis even if the institutions reopen from next month, a cross-section of guardians said. Though no order has been issued, the state government is likely to consider reopening of schools for students of Class 6 onwards from November 1, a senior official of the education department said.
Some of the parents along with teachers suggested that schools should remain shut for the entire year and the government should declare 2020 as "COVID-19 Year". As per the Centre's latest Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the Centre has allowed states and Union Territories to take a decision on reopening schools in a graded manner from October 15.
Expressing similar sentiments, Assam Public Service Commission Member Sanjib Gohain Boruah, whose daughter is a Class 12 student, said opening of schools post the festive season is a matter of concern as COVID-19 positive cases are expected to go up.
"After months of staying at home, the children will naturally be excited to meet their friends and may forget to maintain norms of social distancing, necessary for containing the spread of the infection," he said. Boruah favoured continuation of online learning for a few more months till there is a visible decline in COVID-19 cases even though he agreed that benefits of classroom teaching cannot be denied.
His daughter Anuragini Gohain Boruah said she is upset to miss the fun of the last year of her school life. "Initially, I was happy with it. But now at times, I suffer from headaches due to staring at the computer screen for long hours. I wish to go back to normal classes," she added.