Re-opening of Schools and Colleges in West Bengal

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Re-opening of Schools and Colleges in West Bengal

"West Bengal Schools and Colleges re-open from 16th November, announces Chief Minister, Mamata"

Ever since the Government of West Bengal declared a lockdown in March 2020, the Schools and educational institutes have suspended offline classes, shifting the entire education framework to online mode. While the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were far more severe than predicted by the Health experts, the WHO reported that children below the age of 18 were at much lower risk of contracting the Coronavirus. Representing about 8.5% of the reported cases, with fewer deaths and milder symptoms, the role of children in transmission has not yet fully been understood.

Only a few outbreaks involving children and schools have been reported, which encouraged most countries to lift the restrictions imposed on Educational Institutes and allow the schools to reopen. On 29th October, after attending an administrative review meeting at Uttar Kanya in Siliguri, the West Bengal Chief Minister issued an order to reopen the school for students of classes 9 to 12 and colleges. Wearing Masks on school premises, carrying sanitizers, and conducting daily temperature checks on students was among the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) drafted by the Higher Education Department.

"Please wear the mask properly. The number of Covid cases registered a spike after Durga Puja. Hence, you must follow the Covid safety precautions, do not keep the mask hanging from your chin," CM Banerjee said at a meeting.

Chief Secretary, HK Dwivedi, has instructed all faculty members of Colleges and Universities to visit their campuses from 1st November and make the necessary arrangements for conducting offline classes.
The news of reopening the schools has reportedly caused a sense of panic among the parents of the students. The Government has also lifted the restrictions imposed on the local train services to ease transportation.

Meanwhile, an upward trend in Covid-19 infection was recorded in the State for the fourth consecutive day after the Durga Puja festival last week, according to the state Health department bulletin released on Sunday. Around 989 new cases were reported on Sunday, higher than the previous day's 974 cases. After a gap of 20 months, the Government is hopeful that the Offline classes can be conducted regularly, without much spread of the infection, and expects all the Educational Institutes to strictly follow the safety precautions.

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