Covid-19, education, and reopening of educational institutions

Covid -19 a term which was introduced to Indians the previous year. The time when it all just began, 30th January 2020, India got infected by the virus with just 3 cases. With very little information regarding the term, a tense situation was eloping and everyone was feeling scared and nervous. As we know that “prevention is better than cure”, this phrase was turned into action when several countries started imposing lockdowns and so did India.

The Government of India imposed a national lockdown on 23rd March 2020 in order to break the chain of infection. Due to lockdown, schools, colleges, and other educational institutions were also shut down. We never imagined that something could ever hamper education the way lockdown due to Covid did.

In the initial days of lockdown, there was no such medium through which students could study regularly without being physically present in the classes. But as it is said, “when a problem is born, its solution takes birth before it”. This saying proved to be true when technology helped students to get back to attending their classes from their homes. The already existing software like Google meet, Zoom, and others were now a necessity for all those who are getting and providing education.

The online mode of education helped many students to continue their studies during a pandemic but it has its own setbacks. Many students who belonged to low earning families did not have devices, good internet connection to continue taking classes in the online mode. The underprivileged students who used to go to government school did not have access to an online mode of education. Some even had to leave their studies midway to support their families financially amid the pandemic. And the students who could attend classes online, their screen timing certainly increased.

Well, it has been now more than a year, many universities, colleges, and schools have not commenced taking classes in an offline mode completely and on asking some parents about their experience of their children not going to school for a year, attending classes online and not interacting with anyone as such, the answers were very divergent but their take on examination not happening regularly or taking place online was same. All of them were tensed about the repercussions of their child not appearing for the examination.

In 2020, for the first time, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) canceled the exams of remaining papers and passed students on an average basis. In 2021, another history was created when students got passed without even appearing for a single exam. But passing without giving exams has its own drawback. Many students are not satisfied with the marks they have been allotted on an average basis.

Well, as we can witness the downfall in the number of daily cases of Covid-19 infection, the government has decided to open schools, colleges, and other educational institutions in a phased manner. Recently, the Government of India has given a green signal to open the University of Delhi in a phased keeping all the necessary Covid protocols in mind. University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the University of Delhi to ensure that each and every protocol is being followed in colleges.

Some universities and colleges have already commenced their offline classes taking care of all the Covid 19 safety protocols but there is a possibility of the third wave of infection which can be dangerous for students if they start taking classes in offline mode. According to the scientist, the third wave is inevitable. It is dangerous to open institutions now but the need to open colleges and schools is also significant. If proper vaccination is done and people follow all the necessary rules like wearing masks and using sanitizers, the government can open educational institutions.

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