Delhi: After being closed in March 2020 due to a national lockdown, schools in Delhi NCR were opened for physical classes for all the students on April 1, 2022, looking at the declining Covid cases. However, as soon as the schools reopened, the dark cloud of Covid seems to have returned.
Khaitan school, Sector 40 Noida, shut its doors for physical classes on Monday, April 11, 2022, after 16 cases of COVID-19 (13 students and 3 teachers) surfaced in the educational institution. Three students enrolled in private schools in Ghaziabad also reported positive. Moreover, Delhi recorded 299 cases of Covid-19 on April 13, 2022, marking a nearly 50% increase from the previous day.
Parents are now worried about their children's safety and question the resumption of physical classes. CitySpidey talked to parents of school-going children to know their thoughts.
Pankaj Gupta, father of Shreya Gupta who is in 12th standard, from Keshav Puram, North Delhi, says, “Most of the parents had decided not to send their children to school till May. But the schools have reopened now, we have no option to send them to school or their studies would suffer. The biggest problem is that schools are not following any covid norms and the government has also lifted all the restrictions. Social distancing has gone for a toss at schools. I saw none of the parents or school staff was following social distancing at the bookstore in the school when we had to buy books. I can only imagine what passes by in classes. We could have expected safety even if 50% attendance was allowed in schools.”
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Anuranjani Ranjan, parent of a student who attends Class 1 in a Dwarka school says, “I have encountered several times while dropping my son off to the school that no safety measures are being followed. Thermal scanning is not being done properly. Children below the 5th standard are not aware to follow all Covid protocols. I teach my kids to use sanitisers, wear clean masks and follow social distancing but when kids come along they forget about such things and therefore teachers must take the responsibility. Apart from this, children should be called on alternate days with 50% attendance."
Nitin Gupta from Kamla Nagar, North Delhi, whose child is in 5th standard shares, “Children are excited to visit the school but the school authorities have not made proper arrangements. There is no proper sanitation and cleanliness at schools. Children come across bugs and mosquitoes in the classroom. Teachers must be trying their best to maintain all the covid protocols but due to full attendance and poor management, I think they are unable to handle the kids. There is no physical distancing in school buses."
Harmeet Kaur, from Malviya Nagar, parent of a child from fourth standard shares, “Kids are very excited after joining the school back but we as a parent are worried. As new variants are spreading once again, there is a need for maximum precaution by schools."
Although many parents believe that resumption of classes is dangerous for their kids. Some also believe that it is safe to have physical classes for children in senior classes as they are smart enough to take all necessary precautions.
Deepa Verma, from Gandhi Nagar, East Delhi, parent of Jay Verma who attends class 12 says, “Children above the 7th standard are aware enough of how to take care of themself. Therefore I am not worried about my child’s safety as he is intelligent enough.”