Schools and colleges reopened in Delhi on Wednesday after being closed for a long time due to the pandemic. On this occasion, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Shri Manish Sisodia stated that the education of the children has started again in the classrooms properly. Despite the rain, the children came to school, which shows that the children were eagerly waiting for the school to reopen, Shri Sisodia said. He further reinforced that Everyone is in alert mode regarding the health of the children and COVID protocols and social distancing will be strictly followed in all schools and children will not be forced to come to school without parent’s approval; online teaching will continue in blended mode along with offline.
Shri Manish Sisodia said, “Schools were closed for the last 1.5 years due to the pandemic. During this time, there has been a lot of damage to the education of the children. We are concerned about the health of the children but also their education. If schools and colleges are not opened now, then an entire generation will move forward with a knowledge gap. We are in full alert mode and it will be ensured in all schools that COVID related protocols and social distancing are followed. Based on the experiences of the first round, the decision on opening the school for other classes will be taken.”
Shri Sisodia said, “Government officials and school administration are fully alert. It will be ensured that all schools follow COVID protocol and social distancing. At present, schools are being opened with 50 per cent capacity, but once these protocols become a habit among children, schools will be opened with full capacity.”
Shri Sisodia further said, “Many experts were of the opinion that the risk of COVID in children is low. Keeping this in view, schools can be opened for primary classes starting from 100-150 schools. But, the Government will decide to open schools for primary classes only on the basis of the experience of opening schools for the higher grades.”
Dy. CM Manish Sisodia notified that teaching will not begin immediately once schools start. In the first 2-3 days, work will be done on their social-emotional well-being through dialogue so that the children can be brought out of this mentally unsettling phase. He further stated that the approval of the parents is being taken before the children are invited to the schools. “No school can force children to attend school without parental approval. Also, all the academic activities will continue to run offline as well as online in a blended manner. Parents will also gradually develop the confidence to send their children to school,” he said.
Shri Sisodia said, “Due to non-opening of colleges, the college campus was confined to a room in the student’s house. The education of children is not only in their syllabus, but going to college is also a part of their studies. This helps in their social and professional development.”
It is noteworthy that suggestions were sought from parents through email to reopen schools, in which more than 70% of parents believed that schools should be reopened. Other parents also sent suggestions to open the schools in a phased manner. At the same time, health experts also believe that the risk of pandemic is less in young children, so schools should be opened because online education can never become an alternative to offline education.