Kathmandu, August 2: The federal government has been advised to come up with work procedures to pass on the right to reopen schools remained closed due to COVID-19 to the respective local governments and schools.
When the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is preparing to bring a work procedure for the reopening of schools, experts and stakeholders concerned suggested the government that it should not issue the work procedure in haste as discussions with all concerning sides were awaited.
Such suggestion was furnished at a virtual dialogue organized by the Community School Management Committee Federation of Nepal and Education Journalists Group here today.
“Health threat caused by COVID-19 continues to remain and the reopening of schools now would increase the risk of infections,” they said, advising for waiting the guarantee of safety to resume classes.
As they viewed, schools in those areas having low-risk of infections could be operated with the application of safety measures.
The government has already decided to open the admission process for the current academic session from upcoming August 17 and urged teachers and schools to be prepared for the resumption of classes. Presently, many schools, especially the private ones, have been running the online classes.
In view of noted educationist Dr Vidyanath Koirala, areas vulnerable and less-vulnerable to the coronavirus has to be identified first and schools remaining in the second category could be opened after going through COVID-19 test of teachers.
But the rights to take a decision to this end should be given to local governments, school management committees and schools, he underscored.
National Private and Boarding School’s Association of Nepal (N-PABSAN) President Rituraj Sapkota backed the views of Koirala. Federation Chair Krishna Thapa sought the active role of local governments and school managements committees to reopen the schools.
He said the Federation has its concern over no health safety arrangements for the students, teachers and staffs in the draft of school reoperation action plan-2077 BS.
Federation General Secretary Gunaraj Moktan shared that it had already requested the government in writing to sanitise schools used for COVID-19 quarantine and isolation facilities to ensure safety to the students and teachers, provide budget for the same, conduct psychosocial counseling sessions, manage hand sanitizer and mask at schools and establish a primary health treatment center before reopening the schools.