WB Education minister Partha Chatterjee expresses dissatisfaction over unlocking of educational institutions
West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee is not supportive of the unlocking of educational institutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the guidelines on education given in the fourth phase of the Union Home Ministry's unlocking phase has not yet reached him. He is not satisfied with the Union Home Ministry's decision to open schools and colleges.
Kolkata: West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee said that the guidelines on education given in the fourth phase of the Union Home Ministry's unlocking phase has not yet reached him. He said that the state government will follow the instructions. The education minister said, “Our concern is for the students. But we will make all kinds of preparations.”
Partha Chatterjee said that even though the guidelines did not reach him, the students of class 9 and 10 will come to the school only if parents gave their written consent.
There were several questions raised by people after the education minister made this statement. People asked, “What is the meaning of such instructions? Few guardians may have given permission to their child to go to school and some guardians may have not given them permission. Then how will the school go on? How will the study resume? How will the teachers come to school?”
Partha Chatterjee said, “Many students come from far off places to study. Trains, buses are not running properly. In this situation, the students of class 9, 10, and higher education will not be able to go to school.”
Abhik Majumder, chairman of the state syllabus committee, thinks that it is dangerous for students to go to school or university in this situation. He said, “In the fourth unlock phase, the postgraduate students are allowed to use the laboratory for the research work of the university. Many students of the university study in hostels and messes. If they come to hostels or messes in this pandemic situation, will the Centre take responsibility of the students if they are infected with COVID-19?”
Abhik Majumder further questioned, “The students have been asked to go to school with the written permission of the parents. But what if all parents are not equally aware? It was more important to seek medical advice from parents.”
Saugat Basu, general secretary of the West Bengal Government School Teachers Association said, “The guidelines state that the state can allow 50% teachers and non-teaching staff to go to school during online classes in the fourth phase of unlock. But what will teachers do when they go to school for online classes? Do all schools have online classroom infrastructure? How many schools have high-speed internet? So, what is the benefit of bringing teachers to school?”
“After Amphan, the infrastructure of all the schools is still not in order. In this situation, the question remains as to how healthy it is for the children of class 9 to 12 to go to school?” he further asked
Sukumar Pine, general secretary of the Nikhilbanga Teachers Association, said, "It was not right to take such a decision in such a hurry. Whether it is students of class 9 or students of higher education, there is no need to push them towards danger. Human civilization must be saved from extinction. If people live after this pandemic, then surely the education will go on.”