Published: 02nd December 2021
Omicron: Survey by private firm predicts that in-person attendance in schools may soon drop by 14 per cent
Schools in India are likely to see a 14 per cent drop in students attending in-person classes due to concerns sparked by Omicron' the new variant of the Coronavirus, according to a nationwide survey
The findings of a nationwide survey conducted by online platform LocalCircles indicate that the number of parents not willing to send their wards to school for in-person classes is likely to rise. Ever since it was first detected in South Africa, many countries have reported the presence of Omicron and scientists have confirmed that it is more transmissible than the Delta variant.
"The survey, which received 15,875 responses from parents residing in 308 districts of India, finds that schools in the country are likely to see a 14 per cent drop in students attending in-person classes," it stated.
The survey mentioned that doctors in South Africa have found a higher number of COVID cases of the new variant in the population aged under 25 years. The World Health Organization has designated the new SARS-CoV-2 variant as a 'variant of concern'. According to the survey findings, 58 per cent of parents will be sending their children for in-person classes this week. The remaining 32 per cent are parents, mostly with younger children. For about 10 per cent of parents, the schools that their children go to have not resumed in-person classes yet, it said.
Furthermore, of the 58 per cent parents sending their children to school, 14 per cent said that they will stop doing so because of the Omicron threat. "While no case of Omicron has been traced in India yet, once the first case is reported in India, another 5 per cent of parents are likely to stop sending children to school. Once multiple cases are reported, another 5 per cent is likely to do so, leaving only 34 per cent of parents still sending children to school," the survey noted.
Another 10 per cent of parents will take the call of stopping in-person school for their children only when an Omicron case is detected in their district. Once several cases are detected in their district, almost all parents are likely to stop sending children to school, according to the survey. Before that happens, chances are schools would be closed by the state governments, the survey stated.