School managements have swung into action to reopen their campus for students of class 10 and 12 from January 18 a day after the Delhi government gave its nod for reopening of the schools in non-containment areas under strict Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Following the guidelines issued by the education department for resuming classes and conducting academic activities, the school principals have begun preparations to ensure the safety of the students on the school premises. They have also started consulting with the parents to ascertain how many students are going to turn up for the physical classes.
Schools will allow students to attend the physical classes with parents’ written consent only.
According to the Delhi government’s directive to the schools, attendance is not mandatory for the students. They can choose to stay at home and continue with the online classes. The schools are required to ensure that online classes continue for those preferring to study from home.
Provision for a staggered entry and exit of the students will be in place to avoid crowding. Schools will run the classes in two shifts. Depending on the size and capacity of their premises, the schools will decide the number of students in each class. In its guidelines, the education department has advised for keeping 10-12 students in each class to ensure that social distancing and other Covid-19 safety measures are scrupulously followed.
Most of the schools are not ready to provide transport facility. Parents will have to pick and drop their wards or make alternate arrangement for their transportation.
The Delhi government has allowed reopening of the schools to enable schools prepare their students of classes 10 and 12 for the board exams as well as to conduct practical, pre-board exams and internal assessments before the board exams begin from May 4.
“We will bring in children in two shifts. First shift will start from 9am till 10.30am. After this shift, there will be a break for about 45 minutes during which the entire school premises will be thoroughly sanitized. We will start the second shift from 11.30am to 1pm for another group of students, Springdales School, Pusa Road, Principal Amita Wattal told Outlook.
“At any given time we will not call more than 100 children in a shift. We will have 50 children in one corridor and another 50 in another corridor. The number of students will be kept at 10 in each class. In laboratories also, the total number of students in one group will remain 10. We will have two groups of teachers — one will conduct online classes while the other will be taking care of the face-to-face classes on the school premises.”
Wattal made it clear that her school will not provide transport facility to children. “We will allow students only with the written consent of the parents as directed by the government. We are initiating the process for it. We will have classes in two shifts three times a week. Children have suffered a lot.”
Once the schools have clarity on the number of students to be coming to attend physical classes with parents’ consent, they will decide how and when to conduct pre-board exams.
The Delhi government has advised schools to complete all internal assessments before the commencement of the board exams so that students appear for theory papers without any stress. It has suggested the schools to conduct pre-board exams for class 12 students from March 3 to April 15, and complete the assessment of the internal grades before the commencement of the board exams.
For class 10 students, the government has asked the school to conduct periodic assessment-1 and periodic assessment-2 in the second week of the February and second week of March respectively. It has advised the schools to conduct pre-board exams for these students from April 1 and April 15. It, however, has given the freedom to the private schools to decide their schedule of the activities for internal assessments.
“We will see what is the number (of students coming to school, then accordingly we will plan. It is anybody’s guess but I am expecting a minimum 60 per cent students’ parents will give consent because things have drastically changed in the past few months so far as the Covid-19 infection rate is concerned. Online classes will continue for those willing to study from home,” director of Ahlcon Group of Schools, Ashok Pandey, said.
He termed the government’s decision to reopen the school as “very significant,” saying both the students of class 10 and 12 needed face-to-face interaction with their teachers after being cooped in their homes since March taking lessons online.
“These children have to write their board exam in May and they have done only online classes with all the limitations one can understand. Therefore, these two-three months are very crucial for their life and career. When teachers and students come together, a lot of things are sorted out. This period will be used for this,” he added.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is scheduled to start board examinations for classes 10 and 12 from May 4. The examinations will conclude on June 15. The practical exams will begin on March 1. The board is expected to notify the date sheet for the board exams soon.