Malls Open, Social Gatherings Allowed, Time We Let Children Return to School

Malls Open, Social Gatherings Allowed, Time We Let Children Return to School



Malls Open, Social Gatherings Allowed, Time We Let Children Return to School


Keeping educational institutions closed does not serve any purpose unless adults also stay home. 


for 1.5 years even as adults go to work, malls, and social gatherings each time a wave recedes. 

If asked about opening schools, at one end of the spectrum are parents who say—“ I am worried about the third wave targeting children" or “ We worry about kids bringing infection home to elders" or the ultimate conversation-stopper “Do you want my child dead ? " At the other end of the spectrum are parents who say—“ Why are schools closed if everything else is open?" or “Our children need to regain their lives."

Despite the spectrum of voices, a few things are clear. One, extended school closure is causing immense harm to children, especially in the early years. 

For our youngest children, long-term denial of social play could potentially be a precursor to social isolation, loneliness, and serious developmental issues. 

For millions of poor children, existing inequality is exacerbated because online learning is inaccessible. 

The government recently acknowledged that three crore students across 23 states do not have digital devices and over 15 crore children, i.e., a third of India’s population in the 3-22 age group, are out of the education system. 

Even with access, several first-generation learners are unable to understand lessons. 

There are abundant reports of learning losses and health problems. School closures also affect nutrition and safety—child abuse, labour and marriage are on the rise.

Second, several doctors have opined that while children are equally susceptible to infection, they have natural protection from severe disease. 

Hospitalisation and mortality are rare in children; post-COVID complications such as the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) are also rare and if detected on time, easily treatable.

Third, despite school closures, sero-surveys in India show that children’s exposure to infection is comparable to adults. 

There is only one way to explain this—kids may have stayed home, but adults went out, met others and brought infection home.

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