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BENGALURU: The National Coalition on the Education Emergency (NCEE) has urged the government to ensure that schools remain open despite the growing number of Cowid-19 cases. The NCEE is a body that works on the right to education and their requests to the government are supported by eminent educators and child rights advocates.

Pointing to other states, the NCEE said governments were closing schools without considering the huge cost of closing them. Gurumurthy Kasinathan, director, Center for Educational and Technology, IT for Change, a city-based NGO that is one of 18 supporters, said child labor, child marriage and domestic violence increase when schools close.

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“It is a matter of great concern that there is no one from the education sector on the technical advisory committee. Schools should not be treated like gyms, theaters and shopping malls, “said Cassinathan. She said young children have forgotten learning habits and early reading and numeracy skills have been affected. The dropout rate has also increased as a result of the closure.

“Online education was not possible for most children or was not educationally meaningful,” Cassinathan said. “It simply came to our notice then. There is evidence from Karnataka and elsewhere in the world that young children and adolescents are the least at risk from coronavirus; These are usually asymptomatic or mild indeterminate symptoms and the loss of life is negligible. ”

The NCEE, in a press release, asked the government to consider scientific studies that show fewer virus infections in schools than in other locations.

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Niranjanaradhya VP, a development educator, consultant to SDMC, a supporter, also said that the educational cost of condemning the illiteracy and ignorance of children of an entire generation should not be taken lightly.

The NCEE added that evidence from South Africa and Europe showed that there was no indication that the third wave was targeting children. “Many schools in rural areas have less than 50 students enrolled. The children who come to this school are often in the same bubble in the community and are already playing with each other outside their home. There is no reason to stop them, “said NCEE.

The coalition suggested that if the TPR exceeds 5%, schools in urban settings could operate at 50% capacity, while if it exceeds 10%, medium-sized schools could be asked to operate in shifts to ensure distance.

They have called for the continuation of the luncheon project to address the problem of malnutrition as well as the occasional supply of dry rations. Teachers should be in schools and should not be deployed for covid related work, for which the government should make alternative arrangements, it said.

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