Flowers, smiles greet students as schools reopen after 10 months

Teachers welcome senior students at Geeta Bal Bharti School in Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

Smiles were hidden behind masks as Class 10 and 12 students returned to school after nearly 10 months on Monday. Colourful posters, floral welcomes and seeing teachers in person brightened up a cold, grey winter morning for students at government schools across the city. However, most private schools decided to take a little more time to open their doors to students again.

The students were eager to hi-five and hug their friends but were reminded constantly by temperature checks, sanitisers that things were still not back to normal.

Abhishek Patel, a Class 12 student said: “We have gotten used to online class and have managed to finish the syllabus, but there are many parts for which we still need clarification and it is necessary for us to attend school so that we get good marks in the board examinations.”

Parents’ consent

The government has allowed students of Classes 10 and 12 to attend school after getting written consent from their parents so that they may finish their practical course and clear doubts by interacting with their teachers in person. The CBSE Board exams are scheduled in May.

Outside schools, efforts were made to ensure that students enter from different gates to prevent overcrowding. At labs and classrooms, efforts were made to leave one-desk space between students, and children were not allowed to visit the canteen or play during break time.

Sneha Lata, a parent who had come to drop off her daughter at a government school in Lajpat Nagar, said that she was happy that schools had reopened as attending classes was important for her daughter as she had not taken to online classes easily and was having difficulty. “There is still time before the boards, she will be able to learn properly in school and have a proper schedule. After so many years of studying, she must get good marks in the board examination. COVID-19 pandemic cannot be used as an excuse,” she said.

Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia visited two schools — SKV Chirag Enclave and DPS Mathura Road — to assess schools’ readiness. “It is only after careful consideration that we’ve reopened the schools for Class 10 and 12 students. Since the CBSE has announced the dates for board exams in May, it would’ve been unfair for the students to directly sit for the examinations without any counselling or pre-board classes,” Mr. Sisodia said.

He added that the Delhi government has reopened schools so that children can be better prepared to take their exams, especially after such a long disruption in their schooling.

“Though this will not make up for the loss of almost a year, we wanted to do everything from our end,” the Minister said.

Registered for exams

Over three lakh students have registered from Delhi to take the CBSE Class 10 board examination while 2.5 lakh students will be taking the Class 12 exam.

“Even the students were happy. They told me that they were bored at home and were looking forward to getting back to their schools,” Mr. Sisodia said after interacting with students.

Addressing the concerns of parents about reopening schools before children had been vaccinated, he said that though the parents have offered mixed reactions, and are a little nervous, it was only natural for the parents to feel so.

“Their confidence will build over time which will lead to more students coming to schools”, he added.

The government did not share any figures on attendance at its schools.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 9:56:32 PM |

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