Days after the West Bengal education department said that the state government has no plans to reopen schools at any level in the near future, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that the state government is thinking of reopening schools after the Durga Puja vacations, adding that the plan is still in a very nascent stage and the state will look into all the aspects before allowing the schools to resume offline classes.
“We are thinking of opening the schools after the pujas but the details are yet to be finalised. Schools might start operating on alternate days, but we will have to look into all the aspects. We cannot compromise on the health of the students,” the Chief Minister said.
When asked about the details of the plan, Banerjee jokingly remarked, “The baby is not yet born and you are thinking of the rice ceremony?”
Banerjee’s comments came a few days after a senior official in the education department said that the government has no plans to open schools at any level in the near future as there is a threat of a possible third wave of the Covid pandemic.
The official had also said that whenever the schools reopen, students of higher classes will be the first to start offline classes, and not those at the primary level.
He was responding to queries on ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava’s statement in Delhi that schools should be reopened with the primary section as children can handle the viral infection much better than the adults.