National Coalition on the Education Emergency urges government to reopen schools in Bengaluru

The National Coalition on the Education Emergency feels that closure of schools will have catastrophic consequences on children.

Published: 23rd January 2022 06:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd January 2022 06:29 AM   |  A+A-

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Representational image (File photo| ANI)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The National Coalition on the Education Emergency (NCEE) has urged the authorities to reopen schools in Bengaluru immediately in the wake of the Karnataka government lifting the weekend curfew, which was imposed owing to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

"Schools in Bengaluru remain shut while malls, theatres, pubs and restaurants have been kept open. The closure of schools is having catastrophic consequences on children’s academic, emotional, nutritional, social and economic fronts. The impact is maximum for younger children, in terms of malnutrition, child abuse, child labour, and school dropout," stated the coalition. 

The NCEE is a group of individuals, organisations and networks across the country which have come together to "resume and renew" school education.

"Evidence suggests that young children are least vulnerable to COVID. They are more commonly asymptomatic or have mild non-specific symptoms, and fatalities are negligible. In-school transmission of the virus by children or teachers can be controlled by taking public health precautions and isolating and treating cases of infection amongst students and teachers. When this is being done for Classes 10-12, why can’t the same be ensured for children of Classes 1-9?" questioned NCEE.

"Cases may be more in some areas. Closing schools in the remaining areas is meaningless. Therefore, a cluster approach to close schools wherever cases are more is more scientific. The BBMP and local self-governments need to be empowered to make decentralised decisions," stated the collective.  

The NCEE further observed that across the world, schools have been mostly kept open and, in some countries, even through the pandemic.

"In India as well, most governments have kept schools open during the current third wave. Evidence from South Africa and Europe confirms that there is no indication that the third wave is targeting children. The head of Indian Council of Medical Research  has also emphasised this earlier," the collective added. 

The NCEE had earlier shared school opening guidelines and a research brief with the education department, and is ready to provide support in terms of appropriate curricular resources to meet the socio-emotional learning needs of all children.


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