Thursday, Jul 07, 2022

Delhi Schools Reopen After 'Pollution Break' But Omicron Scare Keeps Many Wary

Several private schools reopened in Delhi after remaining shut due to pollution. However, a few schools plan to reopen on January 3, depending on the Omicron scare but parents remain worried.

Representative image of Delhi schools. PTI

Even as several private schools in Delhi reopened on Monday after being closed due to high pollution levels, a few schools decided to start from January 3.  According to a recent survey, the majority of Indian parents reportedly want schools to discontinue offline schools if multiple Omicron cases are detected in a district or the strain is detected within 25 km of their vicinity..

With schools having less ventilation and zero access to air purifiers, the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant has parents worried, reports Hindustan Times. 

However, last Friday, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) allowed the authorities in the Delhi-NCR to resume physical classes for students of class 6 and above, colleges and other educational institutions with immediate effect.

"Greeted with blessings and enthusiasm, our students from grade 6 to 12 exhibited joy and renewed vigour on being back with their friends and teachers as they returned to school in a phased manner today. With all COVID-19 protocols and SOPs in place, classes have resumed," said Ritu Mehta, principal of Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park.

"Our top priority remains to keep our students safe. The overall buzz in the campus is an indication of the new normal," Mehta added.

The principal of another top school, who did not wish to be identified, said, "We have decided to reopen school from January 3 since not many parents were willing to send their wards considering Christmas and New Year. If the Omicron situation permits and schools are not ordered to close again, we will reopen in January."

Anshu Mittal, the principal of MRG School in Rohini, said, "Students were deprived of interpersonal interactions. With physical classes in place, other activities like sports events and co-curricular activities which were being remotely planned will now happen in their original format."

Earlier this month, the CAQM had directed schools, colleges, and educational institutions in the national capital region (NCR) to remain closed, allowing only an online modes of education, except for the purpose of examinations and laboratory practicals.

(with inputs from PTI)