Friday, May 31, 2024

Maintain SOPs

We are all bearing the brunt of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis. It has trapped us in a mire of colossal economic losses, and palpable emotional setbacks. The pandemic caught us off guard. We were suffering due to worrying state of affairs, and Covid sunk us further deep into a quagmire. Now it has been more than a year since the outbreak of pandemic. So far in our state there are over 90 deaths, 12,225 positive cases and 11,973 have already recovered. Fortunately, it amounts to nearly 98% success rate. In terms of its global impact and mortality rates in other countries, we should be thankful that we can still breathe. Given the psyche of our people, we are one kind of a race who are least bothered by any calamity. Surprisingly, many people still believe the pandemic is a fabricated lie. When other deadly variants of Covid-19 virus are mutating and hovering over, we are very casually throwing SOPs to the wind. We are doing our daily activities without taking any precautions. Everywhere there is cacophony and clamour. We can be clueless about the uncertain future but not careless to ignore the main pressing concerns. We are still in a quandary but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore and skirt a debate or discussion on matters of concern. It’s deeply distressing to have seen our children lose a precious academic year. Without any respite, they have suffered both physically and psychologically. It is a welcome sign that schools are now slowly reopening. Regular schools for Class 6 & above in the state reopened from February 8 and classes for primary sections (Class 1 to 5) will reopen from today (March 22). Loss of one academic year has made us all realize that nothing can replace schools where children are being taught and trained to excel in different fields. Due to Covid-19 contagion, we had to opt for home schooling which was not an easy task. It really takes a lot of patience to bear with the tantrums of children. As a matter of fact this reveals how much effort teachers are putting in to mould and motivate kids to be obedient and outstanding. School is a sacred place where they not only learn but it also prepares them for life. They get the exposure which they cannot get anywhere else. Their energies are channeled properly in studies and extra curriculum activities. At the end of day, they are exhausted and their aggression is subdued. Imagine when the same children have to stay at home for more over than 300 days, what is going to happen during their complete stay at home? With schools for lower classes reopening from March 22, teachers have to put an extra ordinary effort to restart things where they had left. The bitter truth is students’ have fallen behind and are back to square one. The teachers have to bear in mind that they have to start from scratch. In fact, it was neither easy for teachers nor for students to manage the online classes, particularly with poor Internet connectivity in the state. It was very difficult for the students to remain glued to smartphones for many hours at a stretch. Out of compulsion and lack of options, it was the only choice but honestly speaking it has now become redundant and taking a heavy toll on the health of students due to posture problems and eye sight issues. According to doctors, prolonged use of smartphones has also given rise to sleep disorders. The point is that the last one year had been toughest ones especially for the children who couldn’t help but stay at home. The physical inactivity and losing touch with their school friends have led some of them to obesity and anxiety. Nothing can replace physical interactions with friends. It acts as a bulwark against emotional vulnerabilities. With the reopening of schools, all the stakeholders have to hammer a deliverable strategy so that everything will fall in its place. Among the mounting concerns, due care has to be taken for the health and hygiene of the students and teachers. Sanitation and seating arrangements should be done properly. There should be no compromise on the SOPs with main emphasis on wearing masks and keeping a safe distance. At the same time, authorities should think seriously of vaccination programme for teachers and students on priority.