Delhi government’s decision to reopen schools receives mixed feelings

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s decision to reopen all schools in Delhi from Nursery to Class 8 Monday onwards got mixed reactions from students, parents, and school authorities. The schools will see the students coming from post Diwali only.

A large section of schools, teachers and parents are elated about this decision but feel it was taken in haste as no clarifications were provided about the manner in which schools will be reopened given the upcoming Diwali and Chhath Puja festivities and  the online-offline hybrid mode of teaching developed in the pandemic to ensure the learning never stopped.

Anil Kumar, Principal of Sarvodya Kanya Vidyalaya school, Jhilmil Colony, said, “I am very happy that finally schools will reopen for all classes, but the government could have waited for 10 more days till the festivals end. Many students migrated to their native places in the pandemic, and next week is Diwali so, no student will attend for those two days.” 

Kumar also foresees major challenges in the light of this decision. “We have to start from the beginning as a huge learning gap was formed in the lockdown. Many students have not seen textbooks due to lack of access to online classes. Secondly, 25 percent of primary teachers in my schools are on Covid duty. They should be relieved now.”

Sant Ram, teacher at SBV, Subhash Nagar and District Secretary, West A, Government School Teachers Association (GSTA), said, “It is good that schools are reopening, but the government has said only 50 per cent students should be in attendance. We need clarifications like should we call the students in batches or two days in a week? Many schools are still earmarked as vaccination centres, and this setup needs to move out to another location, otherwise schools will not manage to accommodate their students.” 

Pallavi Sharma, Principal, Mamta Modern Sr. Sec School, said, “We will reopen the school only after Diwali because we have to first have a PTM and a  organise a campus walk for parents to show them our safety measures. Also, the buses need permit and many drivers have sold their vans amid lockdown.”

Another teacher and member GSTA, Ajayvir Yadavt said, “Only four months are left for this session. Schools should have reopened only for Classes 6-8. Primary students might not follow Covid protocols. Besides, teachers are already deployed in Covid duty, but have to take both online and offline classes! We have a life!”

Aparajita Gautam, President, Delhi Parents Association, said, “We strongly oppose the idea as corona cases are increasing in many states and are expected to increase after Diwali. We should not be forced to send our children like it was done with the higher classes.”

Aditi, a Class 6 from DTEA Sr Sec School in RK Puram, is very excited to go to school and meet her friends after chatting with them on video calls all this while. However, her mother, Selvi, had denied sending her to school. 

“Not at least for 15 days. I want to see what arrangements and safety measures are. These are small kids. How can they wear a mask for whole day? Also, children come from different places and corona is not over…” said Selvi.

However, another parent, who with her husband are construction site labourers, is quite relieved. “Due to pandemic, we lost our jobs and struggled for every meal. So, yes, it is a good decision, my children will have food as well as proper education and I can go to work.”



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