New Delhi, 27 Aug, 2021 : Delhi schools to reopen in a phased manner; classes 9-12 to open from Sept 1.
The decision was cleared at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and an announcement is expected to be made by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, sources said.
An expert committee set up by the DDMA had recommended the phase-wise reopening of the schools from the next month.
In its report submitted on Wednesday, the panel recommended that students from senior classes should be called in the first phase followed by the middle-grade students and ultimately the primary classes.
The committee has also said that willing parents should have the option of sending their child to school and others can opt for online classes.
Schools in the national capital were ordered shut last year in March ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
While several states started partial reopening of schools in October last year, the Delhi government allowed physical classes only for Classes 9-12 in January this year, which were again suspended following the surge in COVID-19 cases during the devastating second wave.
Currently, students of Classes 10, 11 and 12 can visit schools with the consent of parents for admission and board exam-related activities.
The latest proposal to reopen schools had parents and the education community divided.
While some have said that schools must be reopened as the learning loss is huge, others feel there is no harm in waiting for few more weeks or a month as experts have been warning of a possible third wave.
“The risk is not over yet. Reopening schools right before October-November during which the third wave has been predicted by experts, is not a wise decision,” Aparajita Gautam, President, Delhi Parents’ Association, told news agency PTI on Thursday.
The All India Parents” Association (AIPA), however, has been demanding the reopening of schools.
“What is the justification in indefinitely delaying reopening of schools in Delhi? Like 2020-21, 2021-22 is also becoming zero academic year,” AIPA President Ashok Agarwal said.
Several school principals and education experts too are in favour of reopening schools.
“It’s high time we should welcome students back to school to break the monotonous cycle of remote learning. This will help schools to traverse the learning gaps and students to cope with the learning outcomes,” Anshu Mittal, Principal, MRG School, Rohini, said.