Bihar: Offline primary classes resume from March 1, parents still reluctant
- Several schools will not reopen just yet; they are planning to conduct online examinations and commence regular classes for primary students from the next academic session.
Schools in Bihar reopened on Monday for resumption of offline study for primary classes 1 to 5 amid Covid-19 safety protocols and the fear of resurgence in Covid-19 cases. The state education department has asked all schools to operate at 50% students’ strength and to implement Covid-19 preventative measures. Several city schools were seen on Sunday readying the campuses in line with the guidelines to welcome students after a year.
Baldwin Academy’s principal Rajiv Ranjan Sinha said the school premises have been fully sanitised and seating arrangements to maintain social distancing has been made.
“We will be extra careful with primary students. Teachers will monitor them throughout the duration of the school. They will not be left alone anywhere. We have kept hand sanitisers and face masks in each classroom,” he added.
Gyan Niketan said additional staff is being deployed to ensure proper implementation of Covid-19 safety protocols as junior students are returning to campus after a long time.
However, a large group of parents said they were reluctant to send their wards to schools in view of a fresh rise in Covid-19 cases, seen in several states.
“As there is a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in the past couple of days, I am not feeling safe about sending my daughter to school. She will continue regular schooling from the next session,” said Priya Sharma, whose daughter studies in class 2.
Prakash Gupta, whose son studies in Class 5, said, “As session is about to end, academic activities will gain momentum this month. I will help my son to revise the syllabus at home. I don’t wish to risk his health by sending him to school just now.”
Meanwhile, several schools have decided not to reopen from March 1. They are planning to conduct online examinations and commence regular classes for primary students from the next academic session.
Mary Alphonso, principal of Don Bosco Academy, said, “We will resume primary classes from April 4. Online exams will be conducted for them.”
Similarly, St. Karen’s High School and DAV Public High School said they will conduct online examinations for students in March.
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“We conducted a survey for parents’ consent on sending their wards to school for offline classes. We received less than 30% positive response. So, we have deferred conducting regular classes,” said principal Seema Singh.
The state education department allowed reopening of schools for primary classes on February 19 after meeting with the crisis management group. The department said it will hold a review meeting to decide over continuance or discontinuance of regular primary classes after 15 days, said an official.