Tuesday, 28 September, 2021
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No instant solution on reopening schools, says Amartya Sen

KOLKATA: There is no instant answer to the debate over the opening of school campuses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said, reports PTI.

Speaking in an online discussion organised by Pratichi on Sunday, Sen said that children are suffering a lot as schools are closed but also concerns over their health cannot be ignored if campuses reopen.

“In America, there is an ongoing debate between two groups on the same issue. In India, there are different opinions. But, what may be applicable in the east of Birbhum may not work in the west of Bankura. There cannot be a readymade reply, an instant reply at hand, the situation is not so,” Sen said.

On the evaluation model in the present scenario, the economist said acquiring and sharing knowledge is more important.

“Even if we put emphasis on the evaluation we must remember it is the last thing. Acquiring and sharing knowledge comes first. There are reasons to believe that the issue should be seen from different sides and perspectives,” he said.

“When we learn something for the first time, when we first comprehend the matter....is that linked with evaluation? We have to see. Evaluation will be certainly of use, but how much and in what way? We have to see if there is a link between evaluation and real education,” Sen pointed out.

Asked about the threats to the environment, he said that either the world is aware of the problems and knows the solution but not proceeding in the right path or there need to be threadbare discussions to find the directions to solve the crisis.

“Environment is an integral part of every work, every step taken by us,” he reasoned.

Sen, who is currently a Thomas W Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, also stressed on tapping alternative energy resources such as solar and nuclear to protect the environment.