COVID-19 in Delhi Schools: Parents demand online classes; Teachers not in favor

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Anum
Anum Ansari
Assistant Manager – Content
Updated on Apr 21, 2022 17:06 IST

While parents around the National Capital are demanding Delhi school closure, teachers are not much in favor. Read further to under their views and opinion. 

Delhi Schools Won't Close Amid COVID-19 Spike

COVID-19 in Delhi Schools: With emerging fresh cases of the novel coronavirus, students and parents started hoping that schools in Delhi would shift back to online mode soon. However, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has clarified that schools in the National Capital will not shut. In a meeting conducted on Wednesday, DDMA has decided to come up with a separate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for schools in consultation with experts.

Will Schools in Delhi Close Amid COVID-19 Spike?

While commenting on school closure in Delhi, a senior official told Shiksha.com that children have suffered a lot due to a two-year gap amid the pandemic. Closing schools all over again is out of the question right now. Our department is keeping a close check on the situation in schools ensuring that COVID-19 protocols are followed strictly. He further added that wearing masks, following social distancing and use of sanitizer has been made mandatory in schools.

In case any COVID case emerges in a school, then that school is directed to close the wing until proper sanitization takes place. Schools can also decide to close for a day or two, shift to online learning for the period and then return to normal after proper sanitization of the premise, the official added.

Parents Demand Online Classes

“I don’t understand the necessity of offline learning for small children amid rising COVID-19 cases in Delhi. There is no vaccine for children below 12 years. My kid is 5 years old. I cannot keep him at home if the school is conducting offline classes. I can only request the authorities understand that children are at high risk. Fresh cases are emerging and schools must shift to an online teaching format until the situation comes under control,” said Malti Manchanda, Parent of a Class 1 student.

Talking about children’s careless behavior toward COVID-19 protocols, Shruti Rajesh, a parent of a Class 6 student said, “I don’t know how many times my kid uses sanitizer or even washes hands before eating. I cannot rely on teachers that they will ensure that kids follow all COVID-19 protocols. Children do not understand all this and a teacher cannot monitor a class of 30-40 students altogether. I want online classes to keep my kid safe. Even if my kid wears masks or follows social distancing then also there is no assurance that another kid would do the same and there is always a risk of infection.

Teachers Not in Favor of Delhi School Closure

Commenting on if we should shift back to online classes, Ajinder Kaur, Senior In-charge, DAV Public School (Pushpanjali Enclave), said, “No, we should not shift back to online classes because it's not only about learning gaps, it is also about the mental well-being of students. Physical interactions with teachers are very important for children. Children need to get out and have social interactions.”

Talking about her experience with students since the schools have reopened, Kaur said, “In the last two weeks we have realised that students have completely forgotten how to behave in social settings. We are taking various steps to bring them back to routine. I feel keeping school in physical mode has far greater advantages than risks. We at school are following all COVID protocols and conducting various workshops for not only students but also parents. Parents are equally anxious so if we again close schools whole purpose will be defeated.”

Schools must not shut down at all, said Aditi Aggarwal, a PGT Commerce of Chotu Ram Public school. “Students are becoming liberal with studies. Their irregularity in classes and carelessness with homework is showing that they are losing interest in their studies. Schools have been shut for almost two years and it has increased the communication gap between students and teachers, Aditi added.

She further informed that students are facing problems while writing exams due to a lack of writing habits. There are complaints of hand pain, spelling errors, etc. as well.

Talking about the steps the school is taking to combat COVID-19 spread in school, Aditi said, “We are following all guidelines issued by the government. Use of sanitizer, wearing a mask, following social distancing, is a must for both students and staff members. Sitting arrangements have changed for regular classes as well as exams. The schools are also following different time schedules and timetables for exams. Shift system is being followed to avoid overcrowding.”

Hybrid Learning Is An Option!

Shiksha.com also connected with Vibha Singh, Principal, EDMC Pratibha Co.ed Vidyalay (Mahila Colony) and Senior Vice President (Municipal Corporation Teachers Association). Calling 'Hybrid Learning' an option amid the COVID-19 spike, the EDMC Principal said, "Considering the safety of students, I would say that if a student gets infected, s/he will infect other students resulting in a massive COVID spread and hence, the concern emerging from various parents is absolutely genuine. As a teacher, as a principal, I would also say that schools must close in case any student or teacher tests COVID positive. Such schools must close at least for a week for sanitization purposes. Hybrid learning would help such students, as s/he would be able to attend classes staying at home. However, hybrid learning puts a lot of pressure on teachers; in this case, the 5.5-hour of the teaching period must be divided into 2-hour online teaching and 2-hour offline teaching. Children below the age of 12 are not vaccinated. However, we do not know the success rate but unvaccinated students are at high risks of being infected."

Stating that offline teaching is the best mode of teaching, Singh added, “Teaching and learning is a two-way process. With offline classes, students get a chance to express their queries and get solutions to their questions from teachers. Online teaching lacks this process. However, considering the COVID-19 spike, the hybrid option can be reconsidered.”

“Students lack studying habit. Class 3 students are coming to school for the first time as they were admitted to schools during the lockdown period. They do not understand the culture. This is the reason why offline classes are important for students,” Singh further said.

#CovidIsNotOver Trends on Twitter

Amid the clash between the system and parents on ‘Delhi School Closure’, tweeple are trending #CovidIsNotOver all over Twitter. Let’s take a look at some of the tweets:

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Anum Ansari
Assistant Manager – Content

"Writing is not about accurate grammar, it's about the honest thoughts you put in it". Having a versatile writing style, Anum loves to express her views and opinion on different topics such as education, entertainme... Read Full Bio

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