Parents divided over sending their kids to school

Academicians give a thumbs up to move; both online and offline mode of learning to continue for now

Parents divided over sending their kids to school

Reopening from Monday When the schools were opened for senior classes earlier this year, the average student footfall in private schools remained 20% & just 10% in govt schools. file

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 23

With the Punjab Government announcing the reopening of schools for Classes X, XI and XII from July 26, the decision has evoked mixed reactions, especially from parents, due to the fear of an impending third wave of Covid as predicted by the health experts.

As academicians give a thumbs up to the decision of reopening of schools, parents still have their concerns regarding safety, despite clear guidelines issued to schools by the government. The government has also mentioned that the decision to send children to school depends on parents, as schools will have to get consent forms from parents, willing to send their child to school. Schools will continue in both — online and offline mode of learning — till further orders.

“The reopening of schools has become imperative now. Otherwise, it will be too late. Despite best efforts to continue learning through online mode, the school learning system has been hit and students, too, are feeling the pressure of online education. Vaccination in most schools have been done and schools have health safety protocols in place to continue with safe, offline classes,” said Dr Anjana Gupta, Principal, DAV International School.

Meanwhile, parents are divided over the decision as a looming possibility of third wave raises concerns. “Look what happened when the lockdown was lifted in the state and how tourists thronged everywhere, throwing caution to the wind. Despite the protocol, it’s still a risky move as kids and even the elder ones need monitoring,” said Alka Sharma, a mother of two. Her 15-year-old daughter is a student of Class X at DAV Public School.

Satpal Singh, father of Ramneek Singh, a student of Class X, said: “Last year, when schools reopened after the lockdown, only 20 per cent students returned to classes before the second wave hit. This time, we will have to wait and see if adequate caution is being exercised or not. One can understand the urgency of schools and students to get back to conventional mode of education as online mode has been tough for some children.”

Manisha Behl, an assistant professor at Khalsa College, and a mother of two, shares the same concern. “For elder kids, may be the risk is less as they understand the situation and know how to follow safety protocols. But for younger kids, it is difficult to follow instructions. With schools reopening for senior classes, reports suggest that remaining classes will be allowed to function offline from August 2 onwards. But it’s still too soon for younger kids to be attending offline classes. It’s good that parents have been given an option of continuing with online and offline mode of education as per choice.” she said.

As for students, many have already been demanding for blended mode of learning.

Private schools to meet parents today

  • While all government schools will be reopening from Monday for senior classes, prominent private schools seem to be divided on immediate reopening of schools. As per guidelines, the private schools are waiting for parental consent in this regard. Most schools have called for meetings with parents and teachers on Saturday to decide on the matter.
  • Anita Bhalla, principal, Bhavan’s SL School, says they are ready to reopen from Monday as they have received consent for offline classes from 70% students and their parents. “We are ready but we will have to wait and see how many students come for offline classes on Monday to get he actual picture. We will continue with blended mode of online and offline classes in the meantime,” she said.
  • Upasana Mehra, principal, Senior Study II, says that they will hold a meeting with teachers on Friday to decide the strategy for reopening. “Most of our students are happy with online mode of learning and we will have to see if parents agree for immediate reopening. We might not reopen school on Monday but wait and see the response.”
  • Dharamvir Singh, principal, Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, says that this time the number of students choosing offline classes might increase as compared to last time. “We are expecting at least 50% students to come for offline classes when we reopen on Monday. We have received consent forms from parents and we will take a decision by tomorrow.”
  • Academicians give a thumbs up to the decision of reopening of schools, parents still have their concerns regarding safety, despite clear guidelines issued to schools by the government.

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