West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 30 September ruled out the possibility of reopening schools anytime soon, saying her government will take a call on the issue only after mid-November.
In an administrative review meeting in North Bengal, Banerjee said a decision in this regard will be taken after Kali puja on 14 November.
Mamata said, “Any decision on the reopening of schools will be taken after the Kali Puja.” This year, the Kali Puja will be falling on 14 November and the issue regarding reopening schools will be discussed after that.
Earlier, state education minister Partha Chatterjee had said that Bengal would wait for the pandemic to slow down as it was not in favour of “exposing its students to health risks” by resuming classes in schools.
At the meeting, Banerjee also announced that 50 acres in north Bengal has been allotted to Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University for its second campus.
All schools across the country have been closed since March in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and students have been relying on online classes since then to complete their courses, which has not been convenient for those living areas with less connectivity.
Can’t put students at risk: Partha Chatterjee
Recently, state education minister Partha Chatterjee also stated that the government will only think about reopening the schools when the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down and the number of cases in the state has decreased.
He further said that he is not in the favour of resuming classes right now as it will put the health of the students at risk. At the meeting, Banerjee also announced that 50 acres in north Bengal have been allotted to Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University for its second campus.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had also recently released the guidelines regarding the reopening of schools in a phased manner for students of classes 9 to 12. Students could come to schools on a voluntary basis as per the new guidelines.
States like Assam and Madhya Pradesh have already partially reopened the schools in their respective states on a voluntary basis. Students from classes 9 to 12 can attend classes in shifts as per the guidelines.
“Work for the second campus will start soon,” she said.