Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that primary schools in the state could be reopened after a few more days following a proper evaluation of the COVID-19 situation and talks with school authorities.

Some caution should be exercised before reopening the primary schools since there are warnings of another variant of the coronavirus and students could be allowed to attend classes in a rotational manner.

“Schools have been reopened. We have also started the ‘Paray Sikshalay” (learning centres in the neighbourhood) project. We will wait for a few more days to reopen primary schools after reviewing the situation as we have heard that there is a new variant coming. We have to keep a tab on that,” Banerjee said at a government programme here.

“If that (variant) is not of concern, we can decide on opening the primary sections and allow 50 per cent students following the rotational method. We have to talk to the school authorities and decide,” she said.

Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee Wednesday said the lockdown has impeded the basic learning of students and schools in West Bengal should reopen as soon as possible in view of the present COVID situation.

The economist, who heads the Global Advisory Committee formed by the West Bengal government to combat the coronavirus situation, also underscored the need to curtail the curriculum once the classes resume at the junior level and help children make up for the lost time.

The Mamata Banerjee government has launched the ‘Paray Sikshalay’ programme, which is open-air sessions for students from pre-primary level up to class seven in every locality from February 7.

It is aimed at honing the vocabulary and numerical skills of students, besides storytelling, rhymes, song and dance as well as classes in different subjects. Observing the standard operating procedures and temperature checks of everyone present at these programmes are mandatory, officials said.

Also read | Bengal logs 884 new Covid cases, 28 new fatalities

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