Parents voice concerns as Uttarakhand govt announces plan to reopen schools from 1 Nov, discontinue online classes

Schools have said that they are prepared to resume classes while ensuring strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol, however, they are not ready to take the blame if a student gets infected despite the precautionary measures

Press Trust of India October 17, 2020 17:36:56 IST
Parents voice concerns as Uttarakhand govt announces plan to reopen schools from 1 Nov, discontinue online classes

Representational image. News18

Dehradun: With schools set to reopen in Uttarakhand for classes X and XII on 1 November after a gap of more than seven months, most parents are feeling insecure as COVID-19 cases are still rising in the state.

School managements have said that they are prepared to resume classes while ensuring strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol, including limiting attendance in the classes to 50 percent per day for the sake of social distancing.

However, they are not ready to take the blame if a student gets infected despite the precautionary measures.

"While we will make sure that the SOPs are followed, I must say that the schools should not be held responsible if a student catches the virus," Chairman Doon International School DS Mann said.

The reopening of schools has put parents in a spot as they do not want to expose their children to the risk of catching the infection but are left with no choice as the option of studying online will no longer be available.

"Children have spent half of the session attending online classes. There is no harm in letting them continue their studies in this manner for the rest of the session," said Asha Rawat, a resident of Nehru colony.

"My daughter studies in class XII and used to go to school on a bicycle. It is better that she studies at home rather than venturing out and taking the risk (of catching COVID-19 )," she added.

"The health of our children is paramount. Why should we take the risk of sending our children to school when neither the state government nor the school authorities are ready to take the responsibility of their safety," another parent in the Dalanwala area, who did not wished to be named, said.

Some of the parents opined that the children should be called only for practical classes if that is a must and not for regular classes until a vaccine for coronavirus is found and every child is vaccinated.

Despite getting bored at home due to the prolonged closure of schools, the students too said that they did not want to to take a risk by venturing out.

"I am not with the government's decision to reopen schools. I know it will not be possible to take all precautions once the classes resume," said Anushka Bisht, a student of class XII.

However, Uttarakhand government spokesperson and cabinet minister Madan Kaushik said all precautions including safe transportation in sanitised buses with only 50 percent occupancy, regular sanitisation of the premises, limiting the attendance in the classes to 50 percent of their total capacity and hand sanitisation every now and then will be taken by the school authorities to protect the students.

Asked if someone gets infected despite the precautions, Kaushik said, "No one will be held responsible for that".

The minister, who had tested positive for the virus recently, added, "I had also tested positive for COVID-19 . Did I blame anyone?"

Meanwhile, in compliance with the state cabinet's decision to reopen schools for Class X and XII, their managements have prepared an elaborate plan on how to go about it.

"To limit the attendance of a class to 50 percent, the odd-even formula will be followed going by the roll numbers of children, Doon International School Vice Principal Dinesh Barthwal said.

School buses to be run with only 50 percent occupancy and will be properly sanitised before and after every ride and it will be mandatory for students to wear masks and maintain physical distance from each other, he said.

Children will be allowed to enter the school premises only after thermal screening and there will be a ban on prayer assemblies and sports, Barthwal added.

Updated Date:

also read

India reports 10,488 fresh COVID-19 cases, 313 deaths in last 24 hours; active cases decline to 1,22,714
India

India reports 10,488 fresh COVID-19 cases, 313 deaths in last 24 hours; active cases decline to 1,22,714

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 20,000 for 44 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 147 consecutive days now

COVID-19 outbreak in Karnataka: 33 students at Bengaluru boarding school, 178 at Dharwad medical college test positive
India

COVID-19 outbreak in Karnataka: 33 students at Bengaluru boarding school, 178 at Dharwad medical college test positive

As many as 33 students, aged below 18, and a staffer at a private boarding school at Dommasandra in Bengaluru’s Whitefield have tested positive for coronavirus

COVID-19: 66 fully-vaccinated medical students in Karnataka test positive; cases in Odisha's Vimsar climb to 54
India

COVID-19: 66 fully-vaccinated medical students in Karnataka test positive; cases in Odisha's Vimsar climb to 54

The alarming reports come in the backdrop of declining cases of COVID-19, India registered 9,119 cases on Thursday, and states starting to reopen the educational intuitions