The statement of Tamil Nadu state school education minister, Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi that the state is mulling reopening of schools for senior students of Classes IX to XII has led to major confusion among parents, teachers, academics, and students.
The minister on Tuesday had in a statement said that the state government is watching the developments over reopening of schools in three states and that the state is mulling over the reopening of schools for students of higher classes.
He has also said that Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin would be apprised of the developments related to the reopening of schools in the state based on the inputs from the three states that are reopening the schools. Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi also said that the Chief Minister would take a final call after taking opinion from medical experts.
Parents are worried over the statement of the minister and many are not inclined to send their children to schools especially government schools as they fear that there won’t be strict managing of social distancing as well as other Covid protocols.
Ashok Ramakrishnan, an employee with a private company in Ambattur industrial estate told IANS, “I will not send my son who is studying in a government school in the 9th standard even if the government reopens the school. As you are aware 12 districts of the state including Chennai have shown spike in fresh Covid cases.”
He adds, “The minister seems to be a confused person and utters anything that comes to his mind without any consultations with the experts. I have only one son and even if he doesn’t study, I will manage, but I cannot take the risk of him getting infected with the coronavirus in the school.”
Teachers are also wary of the fallout on the minister’s statement as they know that the parents will be coming in droves to the schools to raise complaints and to check on the standard protocols being maintained in schools, if schools are reopened.
A senior Mathematics teacher in a government school at Triplicane who does not want to be named told IANS, “The government must wait for some more time and the minister should not have made such a statement without cross-checking with academics and health experts on the risks involved in reopening of schools. As far as we teachers are concerned, reopening of classes would reduce our burden and stress on teaching in online classes but still we prefer the government to reopen after checking all the pros and cons of the decision as we cannot take the risk of exposing our children.”
Doctors are also wary of the statement of the minister and Dr Manoj Sangameswaran, General physician at a private hospital in Erode told IANS, “It is not the right time for the government to consider reopening of schools in Tamil Nadu. There is a slight increase in positive cases and if we don’t micromanage this, then the disease would increase in leaps and bounds and opening of schools would add to that. Let us wait for some more time and then decide.”
While the minister has said that the Chief Minister would take a call on the reopening of schools, the Tamil Nadu government will have to take opinion from all the corners including academicians, parents, doctors, and political parties before bringing out such a decision.