Following a prolonged closure, school principals expressed hope that there will be no further disruption in learning while a section of parents were skeptical about school reopening for junior classes.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday decided to reopen higher education institutions and coaching centres along with schools for classes 9-12 from February 7. The panel also decided on resuming classes from nursery to 8 from February 14.
“Students are elated with the announcement of school opening from Monday for classes 9 to 12 and from February 14 for classes nursery to 8. We welcome the decision taken by DDMA today though it was much awaited by all the stake holders of school community. Finally children will be back to their second home.
We expect that there would not be any disruption in learning further,” said Sudha Acharya, Chairperson of the National Progressive School Conference (NPSC) that has 122 Delhi schools as its members.
The Action Committee of Unaided Private Schools said reopening of schools for classes 9-12 is welcomed but the decision is disappointing as well. “Schools should have been reopened for all classes and all levels – irrespective of the vaccine status or any other factor,” it said.
Schools in the city were briefly reopened before being closed again on December 28 last year in view of the third wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant.
Anshu Mittal, Principal, MRG School, Rohini, said, “We welcome the move to reopen the schools for students as now with vaccination campaign ongoing in a full-fledged manner for the age group of 15-18, we foresee a major population of students in this age group would have received their first shot.
“One of the most important aspects of school education is now going to be planning counselling sessions for both students and parents, as this transitioning lifestyle can get extremely perplexing most of the times. To hold meaningful discussions is also important, it is preferred to make small group of students for social interactions apart from the academics,” she added.
Shubhi Soni, Head of the school, The Shri Ram Wonder Years, Rohini, keeping the schools closed at long stretch is not a solution.
“The young ones’ minds need exposure and social interaction, to have a foundation full of experiences, they learn majorly from observation and change of environment. For their holistic growth, we recommend hybrid cum phased reopening,” she said.
Parents, however, were a mixed lot on the school reopening decision.
Ashok Agarwal, President, All India Parents Association (AIPA) questioned the logic behind opening schools from different dates for students of different classes.
“It is more a bureaucratic decision ignoring rights of students to Education. Schools for all classes of students ought to have been reopened from February 7. While deciding Authorities should have kept in mind that Delhi School Education Act 1973 mandates minimum of 200 teaching days in school in an academic year,” he said.
Aparajita Gautam, President, Delhi Parents Association (DPA) said, “We appreciate the recent order stating the reopening of the schools for 9 to 12 class as most of the children of that age group are vaccinated and have to prepare for boards as well. Also, it’s great that government have also allowed the colleges and institutes to be opened.
“But, the primary and middle grades should still continue online as they are unvaccinated and furthermore they will be coming for only a short period of time for their exams that are around the corner.
“It wont make sense to reopen their school for only some days as after the exam period the school generally remain close until the next session. Secondly, I urge the government to figure out the transportation problems of the school going children as school buses wont be running,” she added.