- Schools for students from 9-12 reopens in Delhi
- Schools will reopen in Delhi after almost 1.5 years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic
From the 1st of September, schools in Delhi have reopened but only for students in classes 9th to 12th after almost 1.5 years owing to the strict safety protocols put in place owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reopening of schools could not be delayed any further said that Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, on Wednesday, as “an entire generation would otherwise suffer a knowledge gap”.
The colleges, universities as well as coaching institutes will be reopening amid concern over a third COVID wave.
Vaccination of teachers, 50% seating capacity in classrooms, lunch breaks in the open areas along with strict adherence to the social distancing norms will be some of the aspects that will be focused on as the state government tries to keep students and teachers safe.
Speaking with NDTV, Deputy CM of Delhi, Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, said, “Schools have been shut from the last 1.5 years. Students have suffered a lot. We all are concerned about their health… but also about their studies.
“When we sought suggestions, we found that 70% of parents wanted the schools to open. A large number of parents insisted on adherence to protocol.
“While experts told us that we could go ahead and reopen primary schools too, because younger children are at less risk, we thought of starting with classes 9 to 12.”
The students who lost a critical year due to the Coronavirus induced pandemic, the Delhi government plans to run bridge courses.
DCM Sisodia said, “Pandemic has thrown a lot of challenges our way. Students have already suffered a lot. It may be called a risky decision but the students are already at risk by not being able to access adequate resources they need.
“Now that Delhi is seeing 30-35 Covid cases every day, we can afford to go ahead with the move. If this decision was delayed any further, an entire generation would suffer a knowledge gap.”
Though there are some states in India which are witnessing a rise in the positivity rate among children as they return to school, Mr Sisodia said the Delhi administration is on high “alert”.
“Even as we follow social distancing and other norms, we have told parents too to make students understand the importance of following Covid norms.
“Barring some, most states have a positive feedback. As far as going back on the decision is concerned, we can decide to shut schools again in half an hour… it doesn’t require as much preparation as opening the schools,” he said.
Deputy CM Sisodia also said that the staggered timings and shifts are likely to continue for some time
The second wave of COVID-19 in India hit Delhi the hardest, leaving a grave impact on children – as they saw their parents losing jobs; many of them even lost their parents.
To deal with the baggage, the Delhi government has made sure that all schools ensure open conversations with students to help them get back to their routines and ensure their overall mental health is a priority.
He said, “Pandemic has left a deep impact on many children and officials have been told to hold healthy conversations with children and not just focus on studies. The baggage has to be unloaded undoubtedly.
“It’s a part of their grooming. We have ensured that in every school, students are given a platform to talk it out”.
On the first day, as the city witnessed heavy rain, students were seen all masked up – carrying umbrellas – headed to their classrooms. The strength of students attending schools is likely to increase in the coming days.