Wearing masks and umbrellas as heavy rain fell in Delhi, students in grades 9-12 attended schools after they reopened on Wednesday after a long hiatus due to COVID-19. However, some institutions have taken a wait-and-see approach and have decided to invite children to physical study in classrooms after only a few weeks.
After a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the national capital, the Delhi government announced on Friday that 9-12 year old schools, colleges and training institutions will open from September 1. She made it clear that no student will be forced to attend physically. Classes and parental consent are required.
“I am excited to meet my friends,” said a student from Delhi’s East Delhi government school, adding that as COVID-19 continues, everyone should take precautions. “This is the new normal and we have to adapt to it,” said the student.
Although it has allowed the opening of establishments, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has notified several safety guidelines. Allowing only 50 percent of students per semester, mandatory thermal screening, staggered lunch breaks, arranging alternate seating, and avoiding routine guest visits are among the DDMA’s announced guidelines for reopening schools. The DDMA said that students, teachers and non-teaching staff living in Covid containment areas will not be able to attend schools and universities.
“Physical classes are better than online classes. Of course, there is the fear of the virus, but I hope we can follow the proper standards and keep the virus out,” said a student at a government school in Dwarka.
Mount Carmel School in Dwarka does not plan to reopen for at least a month, as not all of its staff have been fully vaccinated and have decided to continue learning online. “We are not ready to open our school at this time. They have not started vaccinating children and not all my workers have been vaccinated. We are still in the middle of a pandemic. We will not take any risks,” said the dean of the Mount Carmel School, Michael Williams.
He added: “Zydus-Cadila is said to have launched their vaccine for children between 12 and 18 years old. I think it is better to wait another two months. We have waited a long time and we can wait a little longer.”
The modern public school, Shalimar Bagh, reopened on Wednesday, but will not provide buses to students as a precaution against COVID-19. Although the government has indicated that vaccination centers and activities such as the distribution of classes that were being held in different schools will continue, the DDMA said that the area used for these activities should be separate from the area that will be used for academic activities