Delhi-NCR schools set to reopen after summer break (representational)
With schools set to reopen from July 1 following summer vacation, rising Covid cases in Delhi-NCR have sparked concerns among parents even as principals said there should be no more disruption in offline learning and asserted that all measures are being taken to get students accustomed to living with the pandemic. According to school principals, while coronavirus is posing new threats, there is a need for parents to understand that the pandemic is nearing the endemic phase and one should get accustomed to living with it.
"While the schools are scheduled to open from July 1 after the summer vacations, increasing Covid cases have become a major concern for the parents yet again. "The state government has stated that it is not in favour of any more disruptions in studies and aims to continue education while keeping the safety of students and teachers at prior," sais Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh.
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She said while the coronavirus is posing newer threats, there is a need for the parents to understand that the pandemic is nearing the endemic phase and we should get accustomed to living with it.
"At our school, children with low immunity are provided with the option of staying at home, while parents can connect with the school authorities to get the class work of the student at home. Also, MPS has special classes for students seeking education in isolation," she added.
Delhi reported 1,060 new Covid cases in a day and six deaths, the highest in around four months, while the positivity rate rose to 10.09 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department on Monday. This is the highest test positivity rate recorded in the capital since January 24 when 11.8 per cent of the people tested had turned out Covid positive.
Pallavi Upadhyaya, Principal, DPS RNE, Ghaziabad, said, "The concerns of parents about their child's safety are valid, and we have made a personal effort to allay their apprehensions in the midst of the sudden rise in Covid cases. "We have instituted strict abidance to Covid safety protocols, whether it's time to time cleanliness, issuance of hand sanitisers, and prohibition of gatherings in large groups."
She said wearing masks in classes is mandatory, and outside access to the playground and campus is restricted due to the heatwaves that the city is grappling with. "We have administered a special healthcare centre which is tasked to take care of unwell students and treat them with utmost diligence," she said.
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According to Anshu Mittal, Principal, MRG School in Rohini, parents had an enriching experience when the schools reopened after a gap of two years and are "more than ready" to send their children back to school post vacations.
"We will ensure strict adherence to social distancing norms and also arrange drinking water facilities at common points to keep them hydrated at all times. Wearing masks is compulsory and social engagement in larger groups is not allowed. "A medical ward with special staff to treat ill students is also in place. We have taken proactive step to assuage parents' concerns and fears and they have been very positive and showed faith in us," she said.
Schools reopened for completely offline classes from April 1 after prolonged closure in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts have raised concerns about learning losses due to disconnect from physical classrooms and have been warning against any further disruptions in offline classes.
Despite the rise in the positivity rate, the city government has not implemented the graded response action plan (GRAP) devised by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority since the hospital admissions are low.
The GRAP came into force in August last year, stipulating measures to be taken by the government in accordance with the positivity rate and bed occupancy for locking and unlocking of various activities.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by our staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)