Delhi schools welcome Centre’s revised parental consent rule for reopening

Updated on Feb 04, 2022 01:29 AM IST

They said that getting such consent daily was a time-consuming process and added that the modified rules will help ease the transition to offline learning

Parents, however, said the move had little impact as consent clause was not followed in most schools in the first place. (Picture for representation only/Sanchit Khanna-HT)
Parents, however, said the move had little impact as consent clause was not followed in most schools in the first place. (Picture for representation only/Sanchit Khanna-HT)

Schools in the Capital welcomed the Central government’s decision to allow states and Union Territories to decide if parental consent is required for schools to allow students to attend physical classes.

They said that getting such consent daily was a time-consuming process and added that the modified rules will help ease the transition to offline learning. Parents, however, said the move had little impact as consent clause was not followed in most schools in the first place.

Amid an ebbing third wave of Covid-19 infections, the Centre on Wednesday modified the earlier guidelines, issued by Union education ministry, on reopening of educational institutes in the different parts of the country.

“State and UT governments may decide at their level whether their schools are required to take the consent of the parents of the students attending the physical classes,” said the earlier guidelines.

Schools in the Capital are currently closed on account of Covid-induced curbs and a decision on their reopening is likely to be taken in the DDMA meeting on Friday.

An official in the Delhi government’s directorate of education said the Centre’s guideline pertaining to reopening will be considered when the subject of reopening is deliberated upon.

Sudha Acharya, the chairperson of the National Progressive School Conference (NPSC) that has 122 Delhi schools as its members, said that the Centre’s guideline was a step in the right direction. “This is a welcome step and we hope that the Delhi government considers it. As long as the government continues to make parental consent a mandatory requirement, we will not be able to return to normalcy. The process of checking parental consent at the school gate daily is also a time-consuming process,” said Acharya, principal of ITL Public School, Dwarka.

She said that it was time to reopen schools in the Capital as the Covid positivity rate in the Capital was declining.

“At a time when cases are on the decline, we must all strive to create an atmosphere where children can be brought back to school without any conditions. We will not be able to return to normal schooling as long as there are conditions such as parental consent or allowing parents to choose between physical and online classes. Conditional reopening needs to stop now,” said Acharya.

Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School in Rohini, said that the Delhi government should do away with the parental consent clause when it issues orders for reopening schools. “If the government clearly states that parental consent is not necessary, it will be a good step signalling the return of offline education. This will encourage more parents to send children to school. The situation is becoming conducive with each passing day and it’s time to do away with hybrid learning as well,” said Arora.

She said that it was time parents realised that to bridge the learning gap in the last two years, children need to return to school. “It will be impossible to mend the academic and emotional loss if schooling does not return to normal,” said Arora.

Meanwhile, Aprajita Gautam, president, Delhi Parents Association, said that doing away with the clause is not a big deal as schools were not enforcing the condition stringently.

“...many schools were flouting the orders. Some schools were compelling students to come to school despite the prevalence of the parental consent clause; no action was taken against them. Private schools will continue to put pressure on children to come to school,” said Gautam.

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