Should Schools Be Open Amidst the Pandemic?

Op-ed

The very word “school” has successfully attached and categorized itself as an alien term owing to the deadly situation we are living through. With the constant rise of the novel coronavirus and the pandemic giving us a promising nod of staying a little longer, as of now, we see no hope of returning to the campus. Several years from now, this generation will look back and may exclaim themselves as a generation deprived of the fond memories that could have been made if the pandemic hadn't blessed us with its presence. All this taken together leaves us with no other option than to stay put within the safe vicinity of our homes. While the virus has taken its toll on us, every school-goer has had the opportunity to taste the essence of a whole new way of education, which to many remain not-so-appealing. School homes a sentimental place on everyone's hearts for it remains the only place we can retreat back time and again and delve into the essence of memories— old and new.

THE IMPACT

Many mourn the shutting down of their beloved institutions but to some, this step has taken the shape of a boon. According to UNESCO, the education of nearly 1.6 billion pupils in 190 countries has been affected so far - that's 90% of the world's school-goers, which goes hand in hand with degradation of mental health, isolation, and deprivation of essential supplies. If the current conditions continue to accelerate this can very well take the shape of a 'social pandemic'.

WHY HOME IS A BETTER OPTION

Getting back to the actual question which has readily taken the shape of a controversial topic of whether or not schools should be re-opened, I stand firm on the decision of keeping the institutions shut and restricting the children from getting back into the campus until the situation normalizes. According to current surveys children are the most effective and successful carriers of the virus. They are not known for their cleanliness and can easily carry diseases to the most vulnerable sections of society— the elderly people. Thus opening schools will eventually feed into the pandemic to grow more and more even if it is against our wishes and desires. Schools will remain the greatest place of transmission of the deadly virus.

BACK TO CAMPUS? NOT YET!

The opening of schools in certain parts of the world has found itself getting its children infected overnight and eventually resulting in the shutting down of the schools once again. Such situations have forced the higher authorities to cancel important examinations and postpone some until the virus dies down or preferably eases a bit- which according to the current times is highly unlikely.

Therefore, until the virus elopes from our shoulders, and we are free to take fresh breaths in the open air, we must cage ourselves a little longer, patience will prove itself to be of the highest virtue in these trying times.

Stay home, stay safe, wear masks!

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Debadrita Dey

Debadrita is an enthusiastic pen-err, reader, writer and dreamer. She has an ardent passion to change the world with her words with a keen interest on comparative analysis of literary and cultural theories. To her the world is a compilation of dreams! Dreamers, dream on!