West Bengal government considers reopening of schools

West Bengal government considers reopening of schools, Nobel laureate wonders whether students promoted to higher classes would be able to adapt.

West Bengal government considers reopening of schools West Bengal considers reopening of schools, says Mamata Banerjee (source - Shutterstock)
Press Trust of India | Aug 7, 2021 - 11:19 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government was considering reopening of schools and colleges, Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee on Friday wondered if students promoted to higher classes without much studies in the Covid period will be able to adapt.

The US-based alumnus of Presidency University (then Presidency College) made those remarks while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a programme in Sonarpur. "We all want schools and colleges to open, we have made such suggestions. This is certainly a great idea. But we should address the issue of retaining the interest of every school student. A student, not getting much chance to read the class six curriculum in the past months, will feel at sea if he is imparted class seven teaching after the opening of campus," he said.

"If he loses interest, he might not be enthused to come," Abhijit Banerjee observed, adding that this issue has to be taken care of. The Kolkata-born world famous economist is a member of the global board formed by the West Bengal government after the pandemic struck last year to advise the government on certain key matters and crisis situations arising out of the outbreak of Covid.

Referring to the early marriage issue among girl students of underprivileged families, he said, "With prolonged closure of educational institutions we have to prevent the possibility of the marriage of minor girls and dropout." Abhijit Banerjee apparently referred to the students of poor and lower middle class economic background studying in state-run or aided schools. The educational institutions remain closed since March 16, 2020 due to the outbreak COVID-19.

In presence of him, the chief minister had told reporters at state secretariat Nabanna on Thursday that the government would weigh the possibility of opening schools and colleges after the puja vacation on alternate days with Covid protocols in place.

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