Schools in Delhi are gearing up to welcome the students of junior classes from Monday even as some parents are still apprehensive about sending their children to schools.
"We are reopening in a phased manner. Communication through text messages and e-mails are disseminated to the parents. We are planning to take learning outside the classes in ventilated areas keeping the weather in mind, adapting instructions and curriculum using outdoor equipment and nature, enhancing experiences with physical activity outdoors -- gross motor, sports and outdoor games," said Shubhi Soni, the head of the Shri Ram Wonder Years school in Rohini.
Amita Sharma, the head of the primary wing of a school in East Delhi, said, "For the first month, we are just planning to let primary classes students settle down. Some of these students have never entered a school. We are planning different activities for the students."
Schools in the city were briefly reopened, before being closed again on December 28 last year in view of the third wave of the coronavirus driven by its Omicron variant. While the Centre has dropped the clause of mandatory parental consent for students to physically attend schools from its guidelines and left it to the states, the Delhi government has decided to continue with it.
There is no cap of 50 per cent student strength and the schools are free to decide the number of students based on their infrastructure so that the Covid protocols are followed. "Parents, especially whose wards are in junior classes, are still apprehensive. We sent out consent forms, but the response is not very good. We are now planning to hold counselling sessions for parents to ease their worries," said the principal of a top private school on the condition of anonymity.
Using all the entry and exit gates, staggered lunch breaks, adequate thermal scanners and sanitisation of the premises are some of the guidelines laid down by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for the reopening of schools.
According to the standard operating procedures, lunch breaks may be staggered to avoid crowding and be held in an open area, while campus counselling and guidance should be provided to the students to adjust to the new normal. Teachers should speak to the students and mentally prepare them for the teaching and learning activities, along with providing emotional support.
With inputs from PTI.