Stakeholders in the Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) on Monday advised the state government not to open schools and colleges before August 31.

They also said modalities should be developed and clear-cut standard operating procedures (SOPs) devised ahead of taking a decision on the educational institutions.

ICR deputy commissioner Komkar Dulom had convened a consultative meeting with the stakeholders who included parents, CBOs, students’ unions, various associations, principals and headmasters of various schools and colleges.

The meeting was for discussing the reopening of educational institutions in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and seeking suggestions.

Representatives of the parents said the state government should first work out the modalities for a safe environment by giving priority to health and hygiene before thinking of starting schools.

Heri Maring, the general secretary of Nyishi Elite Society (NES) stressed on the need to have proper awareness in the schools amongst the teachers and the students to remove any kind of fear psychosis.

He said that NES had during a meeting with the Home Minister submitted a representation wherein they had agreed to the reopening of schools with proper SOPs.

Jummar Kena, headmaster in-charge of Government Upper Primary School, Barapani urged on minimising the syllabus for the current academic session on the line of CBSE.

The principals of Dera Natung Govt College, Rajiv Gandhi Government Polytechnic College and Don Bosco College also placed their suggestions wherein they said that online classes have already been started.

James Techi Tara, the president of Arunachal Pradesh Private School Association said that a survey was conducted wherein the feedback from the parents was mixed.

All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union vice-president Meje Taku, stressed on the need to have an expert committee comprising all stakeholders to prepare the SOPs and then have consultative meeting before deciding on the opening of schools.

Kani Nada Malling, secretary-general of Arunachal Pradesh Women Welfare Society also emphasised on the need for proper awareness.

Kabak Tamar, Urban Health Coordinator, Itanagar reiterated that schools shouldn’t open in a hasty manner.

During the meeting, many also said that online classes have been started in several schools but not with much success.

Considering all the suggestions, every stakeholder unanimously agreed that the schools should not open till August 31, prior to which the state government should devise clear-cut SOPs.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com