Washington: US President Joe Biden issued guidelines for safely reopening of schools in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on Friday (local time).
“One of my goals as President is to reopen America’s schools as quickly and as safely as possible. In our first three weeks in office, we’ve made progress. Today, more schools are open to more students during the pandemic than was the case under my predecessor,” Biden was quoted as saying in a statement by news agency ANI.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laid out the guidelines for kickstarting educational activities safely. Appropriate distancing has to be maintained in classrooms and on school buses, masks are to be worn consistently and properly and handwashing is to be done regularly, stated the guidelines.
“To meet these guidelines, some schools will need more teachers and support staff to ensure smaller class sizes, more buses and bus drivers to transport our kids safely, more spaces to conduct in-person instruction, and more protective equipment, school cleaning services, and physical alterations to reduce the risk of spread of the virus,” the US President was quoted by the agency.
The cost of keeping children, families, and educators safe is nothing when compared with the cost of inaction, asserted Biden. He acknowledged that mental health concerns and educational disparities are on the rise as schools remain shut and remote learning isn’t the same for every student.
“Our educators are frontline workers who are doing everything they can to protect and educate our students, despite a lack of resources and as districts face budget crises that risk education jobs. Moms — and dads — are exiting the workforce in astonishing numbers in order to care for and manage the school experience for their children at home, hindering their own opportunities and further undermining the health of our economy. We have sacrificed so much in the last year. But science tells us that if we support our children, educators, and communities with the resources they need, we can get kids back to school safely in more parts of the country sooner,” said the 46th US President.
The United States remains the worst affected country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 27,482,451 cases and 480,551 casualties, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.