Why reopening schools can be disastrous during COVID-19 crisis

WION New Delhi, India Aug 14, 2020, 09.35 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

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165 countries have shut their schools, leaving 87 per cent of our students without a definite academic calendar.

Schools all around the world are facing problems in reopening due to the situation created by coronavirus crisis.

According to one estimate, 1.5 billion children are out of school. 165 countries have shut their schools, leaving 87 per cent of our students without a definite academic calendar.

Reopening the schools right now can be disastrous. The biggest example is the United States of America which tried to do it. As a result, 97,000 students have tested positive in the last two weeks itself.

Some 43 per cent of schools worldwide entered the COVID-19 pandemic lacking basic soap-and-water hand-washing facilities, the UN said on Thursday, deeming it a key condition for schools to reopen safely.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that 818 million children were affected putting them at increased risk of being infected with COVID-19 and other transmittable diseases.

Of those, 355 million went to schools which had facilities like water but no soap, while the rest had no facilities or water available for hand-washing at all, the UN agencies said in a joint report.

In the 60 countries at highest risk of health and humanitarian crises due to COVID-19, the report said three in four children lacked basic hand-washing facilities at school at the start of the pandemic.

In the least developed countries, seven out of 10 schools lack basic hand washing facilities, the agencies said.

The agencies' report lists measures necessary for COVID-19 prevention and control in schools with guidelines on cleaning and disinfection, as well as hand washing stations and safe toilets.

In countries such as India, schools face the problem of over-population because an average class has a strength of 30 students and the scope of social distancing is zero.

India's tally of COVID-19 cases has crossed 24 lakh-mark with 64,553 new cases in last 24-hours.

Even if schools are reopened, their is no guarantee that children will follow the specified guidelines. However, their are numerous children who are struggling to cope up with their studies because of the digital divide that still prevails in the country.

Needless to say, the Wuhan virus has wasted a whole year of academics for all students across the globe.