Published: 24th February 2021
Private schools in Gurugram reluctant to resume primary classes with COVID-19 cases increasing across the country
Schools will have to follow all COVID-19 related guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) before starting operations, said a senior education department official
The Haryana government's decision to reopen schools for classes 3 to 5 from February 24 has received a mixed response from the private schools in Gurugram.
Parents have expressed concern over the surge in COVID-19 cases in several parts of the country. Schools in Haryana and the rest of the country were closed in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic with classes being conducted in online mode.
The education department has issued an order saying that schools could function for the specified classes from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
While some schools announced that they would welcome students after having put in place measures to keep them safe from COVID-19 infection, others have said they would not do so until all parents are comfortable with the decision.
"Some school managements claimed that the classes for primary students are now over. We are not opening the school for the primary students yet as the classes are now almost over and we would be closing the school like every year by mid-March for summer break," said Rupa Chakravarty, Director at Suncity Schools.
Schools will have to follow all COVID-19 related guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) before starting operations, said a senior education department official.
A few school managements were seen following COVID-19 protocols and students were allowed entry only after proper screening, wearing face masks and sanitization.
They said that those with high body temperature will not be allowed to enter the school premises. It is mandatory for students and staff to wear masks and sanitise their hands. The classrooms are being sanitised regularly.
"We have adopted all precautions in view of the Covid-19 pandemic for the senior secondary students. We are doing the same for junior classes as well. We have installed sanitisers and screening machines to avoid infection. We have come up with a seating arrangement to maintain social distancing," said the Principal of a private school.
According to the state government's guidelines, the students need to carry their COVID-19 negative test report with them before entering the school premises and the Covid test should be conducted within 72 hours prior to their entry into the school premises.
It is also mandatory for students to carry a consent letter signed by their parents declaring they don't have any problem with their children attending physical classes, the guidelines said.
In case any student tests COVID-19 positive, the protocols laid down by the government would be followed.
"We have asked the parents to give consent for students of classes 6 to 8 for the upcoming session in April. For the primary classes 3 to 5, we would not be calling the students to the school due to increasing Covid-19 cases. We have started the first phase of calling students and the second phase will begin in April. We are fully coordinating government protocols amid Covid 19," said Alka Singh, Principal of Blue Bells Model School in Sector-4.
Parents, too, seemed wary of physical classes. Aman Yadav, Father of a class 4 student of a private school in Gurugram, said, "He is not interested in sending his child to school in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The number of cases is increasing day-by-day, so sending children to school is not safe."
Schools in Haryana had reopened for senior secondary students in December 2020. The students of classes 6 to 8 were allowed to attend school from February 1 this year.