Parents in Telangana oppose school reopening

Argue move will be detrimental to health of not just their wards but also family members at home

By   |  Published: 2nd Oct 2020  12:06 amUpdated: 2nd Oct 2020  10:27 am
As part of Unlock 4 guidelines, a maximum of 50 per cent teachers are attending since September 21.

Hyderabad: The Unlock 5 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs have evoked mixed response from parents, teachers and school managements in the State. The Covid-19 pandemic still be contained, parents staunchly oppose reopening of the schools for students. Any such move, they argue, would be detrimental to health of not just of their wards but also family members at home.

As educational institutions remained closed for the last four months due to Covid-19 pandemic, the government and private school managements have taken up online teaching. While State schools are holding online digital classes for school students through Doordarshan Yadagiri and T-SAT Network channels, private school managements are taking classes through the live video conference apps. Now, the parents want this mode of online teaching-learning process to be continued until normalcy is restored.

A parent Ashish N said he would prefer online classes for his children rather than sending them to the school. “Given the situation, online classes should be continued. I will not be sending my children to the school until the situation gets back to normalcy or till there is a vaccine for Covid-19,” he says. Echoing similar views, Hyderabad School Parents Association joint secretary K Venkat Sainath said they will not put their children’s lives at risk by sending them to schools.

“Due to increasing number of Covid-19 cases, the recent Parliament session was cut short but now they want the schools to reopen for students. In the present situation, I strongly oppose any move to reopen schools,” Sainath says. On the other hand, teachers pitch for reopening of the schools for students but with strict safety protocols in place. In fact, as part of the Unlock 4 guidelines, a maximum of 50 per cent teachers are attending the school duties and rest are working from home since September 21.

“Everything has started functioning and why should schools be stopped. Blended mode i.e. online and offline mode of teaching should be started strictly following Covid-19 safety measures. To maintain physical distancing, schools with more number of students should be operated in shift system. This apart, the government must take up sanitisation in schools and provide masks and sanitisers,” said Ch Ravi, general secretary, Telangana State United Teachers’ Federation.

The private schools managements are ready to reopen schools for students provided they receive support from the Union government. “Just like in the government schools, we want the sanitisation in the private schools as well and must compulsorily provide masks and sanitisers. The reopening of schools should be done in a graded manner first with high school followed by primary and pre-primary schools and it should be in shift system. We want complete support from the Union government for reopening schools,” said Y Shekhar Rao, president, Telangana Recognised School Managements Association.

Guidelines

• For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/UT govts given flexibility to decide after October 15 in a graded manner

• Decision should be taken in consultation with respective school/institution managements

• Online/distance learning shall continue to be preferred mode of teaching and encouraged

• Schools allowed to re-open should follow SOP regarding health and safety precautions against Covid

• Students may attend schools/institutions only with written consent of parents

• Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent

Challenges

• Maintaining physical distancing in schools and classrooms

• Sanitisation of school premises


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