Parents wary of sending children to schools as of now: Survey | India News

NEW DELHI: Rising Covid-19 cases and reports of children getting infection after schools reopened in some countries have made Indian parents wary of sending their wards to schools. Majority of parents across 224 districts are not confident about schools being equipped to enforce social distancing and other steps to check the virus spread and prefer continuation of virtual classes, according to a survey.
While the HRD ministry is preparing guidelines for reopening of schools, parents seem to be in no hurry. Only 11% of the parents surveyed are in support of schools restarting as per the original calendar, suggests the countrywide survey by LocalCircles, a non-profit social media community group.
Nearly 37% of 18,000 parents covered in the survey felt that schools should reopen only if there are no new cases in the district and within its 20km radius for 21 days. However, more than 20% parents said schools should reopen only after the country has no new cases for three weeks, while 13% even felt that schools should remain shut till a vaccine is developed.
As per the home ministry’s “Unlock 1.0” guidelines, schools can be reopened after consultations with the state governments in the second phase of unlocking. Some state governments are considering reopening of schools from July.
Some parents pointed out that many schools have been using digital platforms effectively for conducting classes during the lockdwon and felt that instead of reopening, efforts should be made by the Centre and states to find ways to enable learning in rural India via internet, television and radio channels.
The Haryana government has announced reopening of schools in July with senior classes starting first. Calling for caution and careful planning to reopen schools, 76% of parents felt it would be difficult for children to maintain social distancing norms inside the premises.
Some parents cited examples such as France which reported around 70 new Covid-19 cases in schools a week after reopening or Denmark and Croatia which are also facing challenges after reopening of schools. In Israel, around 220 students and teachers were found to be Covid positive in the last few days and around 10,000 students and teachers have gone into home quarantine within two weeks of reopening of schools.
The findings, requesting for rapid enabling of online education infrastructure, have been submitted to the MHA, MHRD and chief secretaries of all states and UTs.

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