The matter of reopening schools


While there is no denying the government’s good intentions about reopening educational institutes in September, perhaps the decisions is being rushed just a little considering that the graph of new cases over time isn’t exactly flattening at the moment and there’s no telling really what might happen in the couple of months between then and now. That is so especially since Eidul Azha will be celebrated in July and Ashura will be observed in August, and failure to exercise the most stringent social distancing protocols on and in the buildup to both occasions could well lead to yet another spike in the number of new cases as well as deaths.
It is also pretty understandable why a lot of people and institutions would want to reopen as quickly as possible. The government is concerned that students have already lost a lot of time and since a large majority of them lack access to proper internet facilities, their education is being compromised beyond measure. Schools on the other hand, private ones especially, are also in a bit of a hurry because things like lockdowns, etc, cut down viciously on their usual abnormal profits. Already a number of them have had to let a number of teachers go because keeping them on the payroll, again, is cutting into the money they make at the end of the month. And while opinion among parents is, quite understandably, pretty divided on the issue a big number of them cannot wait for schools to open as well. The ones that cannot work from home and have to go out, especially, are simply not in a position to attend to their children’s online classes and be able to put food on the table at the same time.
Still, isn’t it expecting too much for schools children, particularly those still of tender age, to exercise the most serious safety rules at all times? And wouldn’t it be a shame if it does turn out, in the worst case scenario, that reopening before getting a handle on the spread was a bad idea? That way not only would everything have to be shut down all over again, but there would also be a large number of sick students to deal with. Surely it would be better to have a tentative date, to reopen, in mind and check progress for the good part of it without building any unnecessary expectations. Everybody’s rush is understandable, but then so is the fact that these are unprecedented times, and in the final analysis it is not too much of a loss if students have to wait a little longer before going to school if that means more lives can be protected and saved.