Kerala government mulling to reopen schools amid surge in Covid-19 cases
Kerala: Sep 3: Amid the surge in the Covid-19 cases, the Kerala government is planning to reopen the schools. It has decided to form an expert committee to study the probability of reopening schools in a phased manner, General Education Minister V Sivakutty said on Thursday.
After allowing the schools to conduct online classes in the last two academic years, the government has appointed the committee to study how other states have planned to reopen the schools, facilities to be set up for children's safety, and to decided whether primary or secondary classes to begin first.
"The education department will constitute a panel to study whether the situation in the state is feasible to reopen schools. It will also prepare a project detailing which classes can be opened initially. A final decision will be taken by the CM," Hindustan Times quotes V Sivakutty as saying after the meeting.
With Tamil Nadu and Karnataka planning to reopen the schools, there has been a demand for the reopening of schools in the state. In the last two academic years, the government had allowed schools to conduct online classes.
In the meeting, experts were of the view that the children are at low risk to Covid-19 and the online education would harm their future. "In fact, they have a lesser chance of infection in schools where Covid protocol is enforced. At home, they go around without wearing masks," Dr Jacob John, CMC Vellore former professor (clinical virology), who attended the expert meeting, told The New Indian Express.
However, the experts, who missed the meeting, is against the government's plan to reopen the schools as the cases are high in the state. "This is not the right time. We have no idea how the minister concluded this," Hindustan Times quotes public health activist Dr S S Lal, who earlier served with the World Health Organisation, as saying.
On the other hand, Kerala reported 32,907 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday. It is one of the worst affected states, accounting for 70% of 45,352 new infections and 188 deaths. The positivity rate for the day stood at 18.41%.