Parents Sceptical, Students Excited as West Bengal Plans to Reopen School After Durga Puja

Although the third wave is imminent and looming over our heads, the state government has announced that schools will be reopened in West Bengal after the Durga puja. The state government will analyse the covid-19 situation before taking a call on reopening physical classes. Most of the students, seem to be pleased with the decision as are excited that they would not be confined within four walls anymore.

Talking about reopening of schools, Sohini Chakraborty, a Class 3 student of Techno India School told CNN-News18, “I’m excited to get back to school. My friends and I are missing each other for a long time. I miss sharing my tiffin with my friends and having fun in the playground and the extracurricular activities too.”

“I want the classes to resume as soon as possible. We are taking precautions for Coronavirus too, like wearing masks while stepping out of the house, washing our hands frequently”, said Sohini.

A class 7 student of Stepping Stone Model School, Snehashish Dhar said, “We’re very happy to meet our friends again. But our parents are concerned that we are not vaccinated and there’s no vaccine available for children yet.”

Even though a COVID-19 vaccine has received a green signal for trials for the children, it is unlikely that it will be rolled out by October. While children are excited to get back to schools and attend classes in physical mode once again, parents are equally concerned about their safety considering the kids are not vaccinate and that it will be difficult for children to abide by strict COVID norms.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Sohini’s father, SouravChakraborty said, “There’s no vaccine for the kids. I’m not ready to send my child to school until and unless the wave recedes, or comes down to 1% or something, I would not have the confidence. She’s a child and her health is my biggest concern. They still don’t have the maturity to maintain social distancing or abide by norms. We can’t expect children to have that sort of consciousness. It’s not possible for teachers to look after them all the time. So chances are there that COVID protocols my go for a toss.”

And just like the parents, teachers are equally concerned and suggest that younger children should continue with online classes considering they are not mature enough to follow Coronavirus protocols. While the health experts say that children are at the lowest risk of developing COVID-19, doctors still recommend not to take any decision prematurely.

A Senior Consultant of COVID Critical Care Unit at AMRI Hospitals, Dr. Saswati Sinha told CNN-News18, “When the schools reopen, it will be difficult to control the behaviour of the children, considering they’re meeting their friends after a long time. In my opinion, we should see how things go before already deciding to reopen schools. Unless we know what will happen in the third wave and how it will affect the society at large and children in particular, I think it’s too premature to decide on anything at the present moment.”

Even as there is no clarity if the children will be actually susceptible to the virus during the third wave, the state government has said that a decision will be taken only after analysing the COVID situation thoroughly in the month of November in West Bengal.

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