Schools in Delhi have re-opened today after being closed since March, 2020. Classes have resumed for students in standards 10 and 12 in view of the upcoming board examinations. The Delhi government on Sunday allowed all schools outside containment zones to resume functioning and directed authorities to ensure social distancing norms are followed.
“We have taken a little risk by reopening schools”, Delhi Education Minister, Manish Sisodia said today as students of classes 10 and 12 returned to their classrooms after 10 months when the coronavirus lockdown was enforced. Schools across Delhi have since then remained closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision to reopen schools for classes 10 and 12 was taken last week as the city’s positivity rate dropped to under 1 per cent and daily fresh infections remained below 500 after the recent third wave of COVID-19 infections. The step had to be taken to prepare students for practical exams and pre-boards, only after reviewing Covid-safety measures at various schools, said Sisodia.
“The CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) board exams are due in a few months. We hope that this exercise pays off and students gain the confident needed,” said Mr. Sisodia. However, the Delhi government made it clear that physical attendance is not compulsory and students will attend schools only with the consent of parents. Schools are also working out ways to ensure that students who choose to not come to campus, do not miss out on anything.
Mr. Sisodia also added that, schools “will not be reopened for other classes till a significant section of the population gets the COVID-19 vaccine”. Schools have been instructed to ensure students and teachers follow Covid-safety precautions, including mask-wearing and distancing. They must also ensure sanitization of classrooms, laboratories and other common areas and keep a stock of face masks and sanitizers for students.
Other steps like, allowing 15 students at a time in a classroom, placing handwashing consoles and sanitizers in corridors, volunteers to ensure social distancing is maintained, temperature checks, and medical facilities on standby if any student is not feeling well, are being taken by schools to ensure the safety of their students.