Bengal’s new normal: Covid-era open-air ‘neighbourhood’ schools to start

West Bengal’s community schools, however, came under sharp criticism from a section of the guardians who demanded that the state government reopen existing schools at the earliest
More than six million kids studying in pre-primary and primary classes are expected to benefit from neighbourhood schools in West Bengal. (Representational Image)
More than six million kids studying in pre-primary and primary classes are expected to benefit from neighbourhood schools in West Bengal. (Representational Image)
Updated on Feb 07, 2022 01:20 PM IST
Copy Link

KOLKATA: The West Bengal government will launch what are being dubbed open-air ‘neighbourhood schools’ from today to educate students from pre-primary and primary classes.

Schools (classes 8-12), colleges and universities have already reopened from February 3. “Paray shikshalay” or neighbourhood schools will cater to the students up to Class 7.

A senior officer of the state education department said that more than six million kids studying in pre-primary and primary classes will be benefitted. More than 184,000 teachers, 21,000 para teachers and 38,000 sahayaks will be taking the classes in the neighbourhood.

“Classes would be held in open-air. Some schools have decided to hold the paray shikshalay classes in their school grounds,” said the officer.

“It has been almost two years that students of prep-primary and primary classes have not attended schools. Even though online classes have been going on, this is adversely affecting the children. Hence, this project has been launched wherein teachers would hold open-air classes,” said Bratya Basu, state education minister.

This comes at a time when the daily count of Covid-19 cases have seen a sharp decline from around 24,000 cases per day to less than one thousand in the last two to three weeks. On Sunday, 835 fresh cases were reported in West Bengal.

The Mamata Banerjee-administration in West Bengal had shut down schools for the first time in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They reopened in February 2021 with classes 9 to 12 but had to be shut soon due to the West Bengal assembly elections and the second wave of Covid-19 that hit thereafter. Classes 9-12 resumed again in November 2021 but had to be shut down again from January 3, 2022 due to the third surge.

Even though schools (8-12) and colleges have reopened from February 3, classes were hardly held due to the Saraswati Puja celebrations. Regular classes are expected to resume from Monday.

The decision to open community schools, however, came under sharp criticism from a section of the guardians who demanded that the government should reopen schools at the earliest.

“Community schools or neighborhood schools cannot be the alternative for conventional school education system. This is meant for government schools. What about students studying in private schools?” said a press statement issued by the Supriyo Bhattacharya, state secretary of United Guardian’s Forum, a few days ago.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut arrives at the Enforcement Directorate office for questioning in an alleged money laundering case linked to the redevelopment of Patra Chawl, in Mumbai, Friday, July 1, 2022. (PTI Photo) (PTI07_01_2022_000062B) (PTI)
  • Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. (ANI)

    'Will ensure justice...': K'taka minister on reports of two sisters stripped

    Karnataka home minister Araga Janendra said Friday he had only just received information about an alleged assault on two women in Anekal, a town in Bengaluru district. The sisters were allegedly stripped and assaulted at their home for failing to pay a debt. Multiple media reports have said the police refused to file a complaint for two days and only did so after videos of the assault were widely shared online.

  • The Maoist, Kamlesh was a member of Malenger Area Committee of Darbha Division of CPI (Maoist). (Representative image)

    Chhattisgarh: Maoist carrying reward of 5 lakh killed in encounter with police

    A Maoist carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh on The Maoist, Kamlesh's head was gunned down by Chhattisgarh police in an encounter in Bastar's Sukma district on Friday, police said. The Maoist, Kamlesh was a member of Malenger Area Committee of Darbha Division of CPI (Maoist), police said. On Thursday, neighboring Dantewada police gunned down Denga Deva alias Mahangu Deva, who was a member of Katekalyan Area Committee of CPI (Maoist).

  • A cash van that was stuck in a waterlogged stretch in Bathinda after the first monsoon rain on Friday morning. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

    Monsoon covers Punjab’s Malwa belt, brings relief for farmers

    The first monsoon showers that hit the semi-arid region of south Malwa on Thursday night brought respite for cotton farmers from the deadly whitefly but exposed the ill-preparedness of the civic authorities in the urban areas as several areas in Bathinda town were in knee-deep in water. Also read: Monsoon arrives in Chandigarh tricity, so does misery Low-lying areas, such as Power House Road and Sikri Bazaar, were waterlogged.

  • Representational

    Mild earthquake in Karnataka's Kodagu, 3rd in a week in state: Report

    A mild earthquake was felt in Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada district early Friday morning - the third in the past seven days. News agency PTI said locals were woken up at around 1.15 am by a loud noise and tremors that were felt in Sampaje, Guttigaru, Ubaradka, Goonaka, Elimale, Sullia and nearby areas. Officials told PTI a report from the natural disaster monitoring centre is awaited. On Saturday (June 25), a 2.3 quake was recorded.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, July 01, 2022