PDP condemns Govt.’s callousness over school containment fallout

STAFF REPORTER | Thimphu

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in its recent press release, has condemned the government’s recklessness with which schools were converted into containment centers.

The party highlights the recent outbreak of the virus at Kuendrup Higher secondary school in Gelephu. “As reported by media, over 70 students, teachers, and staff at Kuendrup Higher Secondary School at Gelephu have been infected with the covid-19 virus today,” the party stated, adding the school was operating on containment mode. 

To address the issue, the party has submitted a host of views and recommendations to seek proper remedial measures and ask for the government’s immediate attention. 

The PDP, representing 1000s of worried parents, had earlier called on the government to do away with the idea of containment centers because of the dangers of outbreaks in confined spaces.

However, the party says that the recklessness with which the Government went ahead with containment centers has now jeopardized the physical and mental well-being of the students, teachers, and staff at the Kuendrup High school. 

The party also quipped that 50% of the inhabitants in the school are now infected in the recent count. “This shows a mindless disregard for the safety and well-being of the students and teachers who are instructed to move into an ill-conceived and under-prepared containment center,” it stated. 

Further, with some other schools also operating in containment mode and with the government still considering the conversion of schools into containment centers, the party said the government should immediately ensure that infections do not spread to other students and teachers in Kuendrup Higher Secondary school.

It also asked to ensure that other schools operating in containment mode are safe from a virus outbreak to avoid similar fates.

“Explain to the worried parents, students, and teachers how 50% of the inhabitants are infected, and assure our parents and students how a repeat would be prevented in other schools,” the party further stated. 

The party also called on the government to put in place robust counseling services to mitigate any ill effects due to the detrimental impact of the covid-19 infection on the students’ mental health.  

“We would like to urge the Government to immediately stop converting schools into containment centers as the virus outbreak from these centers has been too commonplace to trust a foolproof centre,” the party further reiterated. 

The party said the Ministry of Education (MoE) should explore other practical and safe approaches for conducting board examinations. 

“We would like to draw the Government’s attention to our earlier press release wherein alternatives are submitted for the conduct of board exams, including the postponement,” PDP further stated.

The party also said the government has caused physical and mental harm to 71 students and teachers of Kuendrup School for their reckless decision. 

Meanwhile, PDP conveyed their solidarity to all the affected students, teachers, caregivers, and parents in the school. “Our prayers for the quick recovery of all those infected,” it said.