Delhi: Schools welcome classes 10, 12 students, some yet to reopen
Public and private schools in the national capital opened its doors for class 10 and 12 students on Monday, following orders from the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) last week allowing board students to come to schools for practical exams related work.
Schools in Delhi opened for a brief period in January and February but suspended offline classes in April following the second wave (fourth for Capital) of Covid-19, that overrun the healthcare system. The directorate of education (DoE) issued guidelines and standard operating procedures for schools on August 9, asking principals to follow all sanitization protocols and check overcrowding at the premises. The education department also asked schools to acquire parents’ consent before calling students to school. While a few schools reopened last week, a majority of them are set to open their doors this week.
Ahlcon International School in Mayur Vihar Phase 1, one of the few schools to reopen on Monday, said around 50% of its Class 12 students turned up on Monday. Of the approximately 200 students in Class 12, the school had called only three sections (105 students) on Monday.
Headmaster Puneet Duggal said, “We have around 34-35 students in each section. Three sections of Class 12 were called in two batches for three subjects. Of them, around 95% turned up. We too were surprised with the turnout. Most of the children were happy to get out of their homes and come to school to interact with teachers and their peers. Teachers gave us feedback that students will take some time to get comfortable with the experiments taught in the practical classes due to lack of practice.”
Mount Abu Public School in Rohini, which also reopened on Monday, saw 30% attendance on the first day. Principal Jyoti Arora, who is also a member of the action committee of over 400 private schools in the Capital, said, “We had called three sections of Class 12 and two of Class 11 for their practicals. While the attendance was nearly 30% of the total strength, we expect the attendance to increase in the coming days. We kept staggered timings and ensured there was a gap of 15 minutes before the dispersal of each class. Teachers were asked to remain at entry and exit points to ensure physical distancing. Students have also gotten used to wearing masks and following Covid-19 protocols on their own.”
While more schools like Delhi Public School in Mathura Road, Amity International School in Pushp Vihar, The Indian School in Sheikh Sarai are expected to reopen this week, few schools, such as Bal Bharati Public School in Pitampura and Tagore International school, are expected to reopen later.
Meenu Goswami, principal of Bal Bharati Public School, said, “We will be issuing the consent forms for parents this week and give them a week to respond. We are looking to resume practicals for only Class 12 students in the last week of August. Since we will be calling a few students and the same teachers will be teaching lessons for classes 11 and 12 students, we have to plan how to balance online and offline timetables and build alternatives for those who choose not to come to school.”
Several government schools in Rohini, Tilak Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Chirag Delhi, Sarita Vihar, and Hauz Khas also reopened on Monday with students returning to school for the first time since April.
Rakesh Semalty, principal of a government girls’ school in West Jyoti Nagar, said, “Since we have only one section in Class 12, which has 75 students, we have split them into multiple batches. Around 50% of the students turned up today (Monday). We will be getting in touch with school management committee members to encourage more students to join offline guidance classes. We have decided to start practicals next week and will continue with doubt-clearing sessions during school hours. In the meanwhile, online classes will continue.”