September 20, 2021 9:33:08 pm
Government schools reopened in Gurgaon for students of classes I to III on Monday. Several schools reported a moderate turnout, with officials saying this is expected to increase in the coming days.
On Friday, state education minister Kanwar Pal had announced that schools will reopen in Haryana for classes I-III from September 20 and said classes would be held strictly adhering to Covid-19 SOPs issued by the ministry. The ministry had stated that it was not mandatory for students to come to school and online classes would continue simultaneously. To attend school, students require written permission from their parents.
Sanklesh Mehra, principal of the government girls’ school in Kanhai, said about 45 per cent of students in these three grades came to school on Monday. “As many as 70 students attended physical classes. Children were sensitised about social distancing norms, cleanliness and washing their hands. We have also reached out to parents of children, some of whom have returned to their villages, and asked them to attend physical classes. For children studying online, teachers are sharing study material and lessons virtually.”
The ministry guidelines state that a gap of six feet must be maintained between two students, masks need to be compulsorily worn, and thermal scanning and hand sanitisation should be conducted at the entrance. One student is allowed to sit on a desk and sharing of food is prohibited.
Sattan Pal, principal of a government senior secondary school in Kadipur, said, “Out of 935, 389 students in classes I to III attended school today. Some of the children were excited to be attending classes after over 18 months.”
Most private schools in the city are yet to call students of these classes. Several said they had sent consent forms to parents and would start calling students gradually. In the weeks prior, schools have addressed concerns of parents regarding Covid-appropriate protocol at schools.
“We had sent out a circular to parents and received their consent forms. The first class for grades I-III is scheduled for Wednesday. As of now, we are expecting a strength of 18-20 per cent for these classes,” said Aditi Misra, principal, Delhi Public School, Sector 45.
She added that parents had several concerns before allowing their children to attend school: “Parents have mentioned that since kids are not vaccinated yet, they have apprehensions. Some families have elderly people at home, so they fear that kids could be carriers of infection if they go out. We have ensured that there is ample space for children for social distancing and that all protocols related to masks and sanitisation will be followed. If parents feel comfortable, students are most welcome to attend classes at school. I feel once children talk among themselves about their experience of going to school again, it will have a ripple effect.”
Another principal of a private school in the city said, “We have not started calling them [students of classes I to III] yet. The process is yet to start.”
In Haryana, schools reopened for classes IV and V from September 1 and for classes VI to XII from July.
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