Schools open with 50% capacity but Malls in Delhi can open at 100% capacity
Delhi Disaster Management Authority directions defies sane logic
It looks as if the national capital’s Government is looking for new ways to keep the schools closed whereas most states have opened the schools at full capacity and regular classes have also started. However, in the national capital, schools have opened only after 18 months and that too with 50% occupancy. However, all other places were there could be a collection of people like Cinema Halls, Cricket Stadium have been opened. Worse the schools in the capital had to be closed again because of severe pollution.
In the early nineties, the biggest challenge for the government was to just get the kids to school. However, in the last 20 years, the results of the efforts are slowly getting visible. Today, it is a norm that every child goes to school.
However, the momentum has been rudely halted by the Corona pandemic. In the start, lockdown was the only option to control the spread of the pandemic. Only the bare essential services were remaining open. However which services are essential is a subjective question. Why were the schools not placed under the essential services category?
Many countries place primary education under essential services’ ambit
Many countries have placed Primary Education under the ambit of essential services. The UNO and UNESCO have maintained that Primary education must be the last service which is closed and the first service to be reopened.
Students of Primary schools must be sent to school and students of higher classes (From 6th to 12th standard) can be taught remotely. Despite this fact, many states have done just the opposite – they opened the higher classes first followed by the middle school and primary school was the last to be opened under the unlock program.
No risk of COVID-19 transmission in open spaces
The WHO has deemed that an open and airy place where there is ample ventilation, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is the least. It is strange that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has allowed the cinema halls and malls to be opened at 100% capacity.
However, it has ruled that schools will be opened at 50% capacity. To any sane person, the logic of this action is incomprehensible. Malls and Cinema halls are places were the ventilation is poorest. Still the authorities feel that there is a bigger risk in schools than malls.
Even if the government feels that there is a risk of COVID transmissions in schools, but what about kids at home or on the playground? It seems the government is more concerned with keeping its sources of income open but when it comes to the responsibility of ensuring the health of the kids, it tries to shy away from it.