In a significant development, the West Bengal finance department has sanctioned Rs 109 crore to the education department for the renovation of 6,468 state government schools in the state, indicative enough the government is keen to open the schools after Durga Puja.
Though the notification doesn't mention anything about the reopening of the schools it is indicative enough the state has moved another step closer to the opening of the schools in the state.
"The opening of the schools is subject to other factors but as of now the third wave of Corona has not made much effect in the state and in that case, if the schools are to be opened then we will have to keep the buildings ready. For one year and nine months, there has been no activity in the schools and naturally, the buildings are in very bad shape. The opening of the schools will depend on the final nod of the chief minister," a senior official of the state education department said.
On August 5 this year after her meeting with the Global advisory body Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that her government was considering reopening schools and colleges that have been shut since March due to the second wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Banerjee had said that educational institutes might reopen in West Bengal on alternate days after the Durga Puja vacation in November. However, the education department officials indicated that the schools might not open in a full-fledged manner.
"There might be an alternative arrangement like the students might be divided into two groups and will be asked to attend the schools three days a week. The number of students in a particular class will be reduced so that a safe distance is maintained. The department is presently working on the modalities," the official added.
Schools have started opening up in different states. Schools in Tripura have started operating and recently the Maharashtra government has announced the opening of the schools.
The Central government has also asked the state governments to think of opening schools provided the respective state governments think that the pandemic situation is under control. Keeping in line with the other states, the West Bengal government is also thinking of opening up the schools.