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The beginning of 2022 has also initiated a rapid rise in the number of Covid cases in India. Given the current circumstances, it is quite certain that the third wave is ‘almost inescapable’. Most of the states have already shut down the schools and the other states are planning for the same. Switching back to online classes is again a challenge but amidst the chaos, it looks like the only option left for the safety of students. The following content piece evaluates the situation of Covid Lockdown And Schools.

India reported around 37,000 Covid cases on 3rd January 2022 bringing the active cases tally to more than 1 lakh, after growing exponentially since last week. With such a surge of cases, Indian states have rolled out new guidelines and restrictions among which the first one is closing the educational institutions. As of now schools in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Telangana, and Goa are closed for offline classes. While in other states like Uttar Pradesh, schools are closed due to winter vacations and the government is yet to decide about reopening them. So, if there will be another lockdown due to Covid, schools need to prepare beforehand to handle the virtual classes effectively. 

Vaccination for kids

Among the new guidelines and restrictions, the government has also started the vaccination for kids between the ages of 15 to 18 from 3rd January. And on the first day of children vaccination, more than 40 lakh teens got their jabs. The children are supposed to receive Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, in two doses 28 days apart. The ongoing vaccination drives might reduce some of the stress of the parents. But the children who are not in this age bracket are still under the question mark for safety. While some states have closed the schools, other states like Karnataka have imposed restrictions in schools to delay the functions and programs till Jan 15. Also, only the children whose parents have got both vaccination doses are allowed to attend the offline classes. The same guidelines are for boarding schools in Karnataka

Challenges in online classes

Online classes might be the present solution to ensure the safety of kids, it is not a feasible option for learning. Offline classes have always been appreciated for their all-inclusive, effectiveness, and measurable stand which cannot be achieved in an offline class setting. Besides, numerous challenges like lack of teacher’s training for online classes, digital divide, communication and understanding gap, etc. affect the learning progress of children. The prime advantage of a physical classroom is studying with peers, the absence of which in online classes leads to increased cases of mental health issues. All of this cannot forget the exclusion of sports and co-curricular curbing the innate interests and talents of students. 

As of now, schools can wait till the situation gets normal and schools are opened again. While the states where schools are still functioning offline can ensure the surveillance and safety of students with updated techniques for surveillance like AI-powered temperature monitoring, rapid action team to handle complexity, rotational hours, small class strength, and sanitization of premises at short intervals. Considering the day school and boarding schools, surveillance and safety are easier to implement in boarding schools as compared to day schools as the children, staff, and visitors are limited. And the resources can be optimally utilized. But when it comes to day schools, the resources are limited and the diversity of students is broad which increases the complexity in monitoring. 

This is a tough time for everyone, and the constant shutting down of schools is degrading the education infrastructure, reducing the quality of education, and passing out unskilled students which is again a bigger problem for the future which demands an implementable action plan to improve K12 education degradation due to Covid and shutting down of schools. Find the best boarding schools in Karnataka here.

Ankita Srivastava

Ankita Srivastava

Ankita writes about the education ecosystem on Edustoke. She is a Computer Applications graduate from Lucknow University, and is passionate about the world of pedagogy and emerging technologies. She is working in Content development sphere from 2+ years and looks forward to gain valuable experience in the same.

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