Students return to new set of rules in schools

Students attending class at a Delhi government school in Dallupura on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. MOORTHY

The pitter-patter of raindrops and footsteps brought schools back to life in the Capital on Wednesday morning. Students of Classes IX-XII returned to their schools after one and a half years of online learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The usual cheer associated with returning to school after a long break was, however, missing as students had to maintain strict discipline while lining up for temperature checks, sanitising their hands and maintaining social distancing in the classrooms.

Many schools decided to take some time before starting classes. Students were allowed to attend school only after taking permission from their parents as the Delhi government’s guidelines said attendance was not mandatory and classes would continue in blended mode. Earlier in January, schools had opened for a short period to allow students appearing for Board exams to complete the practical component of their assessment.

The government has instructed teachers not to rush into teaching-learning activities and ease students back into school life by assessing their social-emotional well-being through dialogue so that the children can be brought out of the mentally unsettling phase and the extent of the learning gap created by the pandemic can be assessed.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “Schools were closed for the last one and a half years due to the pandemic. During this period, there was a lot of damage to the education of children... We are not only concerned about the health of the children but also their education. If schools and colleges are not opened now, an entire generation will move forward with a knowledge gap.”

Full alert mode

He said all schools have been instructed to be on full alert mode and ensure that COVID-related protocols are followed. “Based on the experiences of the first round, a decision on opening the school for other classes will be taken. At present, schools are being opened with 50 per cent capacity, but once these protocols become a habit among the students, schools will open with full capacity,” Mr. Sisodia said.

The students said they were happy to be back at school. Many of them were unable to keep up with the learning as they did not have exclusive access to a smartphone or computer. “We sent our teachers assignments and even moved forward to the next class but the feeling of learning in school could not happen at home,” said Sapna Kumari, a student of a school in Lajpat Nagar.

Sachin Srivastava, a Class XII student of Government Boys’ Senior Secondary School in Pushp Vihar, said that he was excited to be back at school. “My parents let me attend offline classes as I have been at home all this while. I am really happy that I will get to see my friends more frequently now,” said Sachin.

With inputs from Adarsh Tripathi

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 7:25:29 PM |

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