“Limited opening” for most of the coaching institutes across the national capital on Wednesday as they were finally allowed to resume physical classes after being closed since the onset of the pandemic last year
Following a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the national capital, the Delhi government had on Friday announced that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions will reopen from September 1.
After the order, where coaching chains like Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) and Vidyamandir allowed some students to visit its centres for “doubts and other academic-related queries”, GS Score Institute, an institute for civil services in Karol Bagh, held a “faculty-students interaction session” instead of regular classes.
“Our centres were open today, but then it was mainly to help students with their queries and doubts. There were no ‘physical classes’ per se. However, we will be starting our class 11-12 batches and have regular classes starting September 6,” said Saurabh Kumar, national director, Academics, Vidyamandir.
Nearly 55% of students have shown interest to be part of the physical classes, and the institute is fully prepared and following each and every safety protocol as per the instructions by the government, he noted.
Aakash Chaudhry, whose AESL also saw a “limited opening” on Wednesday, said the full-fledged reopening of its centres will take place very soon. “During the lockdown, we had started online mentoring for our students so that they didn’t lose out on their education. But online coaching can never compensate for face-to-face teaching. We would like to assure the parents that we have taken all the precautionary measures to ensure that the students will be safe,” he said.
The institute, best known for its medical coaching, will also be facilitating contactless attendance across all its branches, proper crowd management in parking lots, in corridors and in lifts to mitigate the risk of spreading Covid-19. According to Manoj K Jha, director, GS Score Institute, both the faculty and students are “excited” to join the centre and resume the much missed offline classes and the re-opening, which has already started, will happen in a “phased manner”.
“The huge number of students registering for our mock test series tells us that students are more than willing to come back. However, this doesn’t mean that everything is fine. For example, there are parents with apprehensions regarding how safe it is going to be or there are students who had earlier gone back to their respective homes after Covid and now can’t join us due to economical reasons,” said Jha, whose institute has nearly 3,000 students on its roll call. “But that said, we are on our path of reopening our institute fully, and are following all safety protocols, be it wearing of masks, sanitising classrooms after regular intervals, or allowing only 50 per cent occupancy,” he added.
Some others like the Maximus Academy in Naraina are in no hurry to open and in fact, have decided to continue with “online education” for the time being. “I don’t know when we will open and whether it will be anytime soon or not. We have decided to wait and watch, and continue with online classes only for the time being,” said Neeraj Tanwar, owner of the Maximus Academy.
Compared to the pre-pandemic times, only one-third of his student strength is currently enrolled at the coaching centre that offers tuition in physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology for students of classes 11-12.