Mixed reaction from parents; Pune schools seek smooth transition
PUNE As the state government has allowed the reopening of offline classes for Class 1 to 7 in urban areas from December 1, schools say that it is a short period and have insisted on a smooth transition for the students and parents and continuation of the hybrid teaching mode for a while.
Parents also are perplexed as the paediatric vaccination hasn’t begun and the Covid-19 cases have been recording a spike in other countries.
“I am not sure whether this is the right time to decide as paediatric vaccination hasn’t started. Also, what are the protocols for students coming from other countries? The picture would have been clearer in a month or two,” said Amol Bharati, a parent from the Sahakar nagar area.
Deepali Hatekar, a parent in the Kothrud area, raised concerns over adherence to the Covid-19 protocols in the schools.
“As a parent I want my son to go back to school but at the same time, we cannot ignore the risk factors. Students will have to eat lunch and use washrooms on the premises. Even in the pre-Covid era, we have seen parents send their kids to school even if they have a cough and cold. Such negligence can prove a lot hazardous in the pandemic. If kids, vaccination would have begun then we would have relief while sending them to schools,” said Deepali.
Schools have also pointed out the challenges in following the Covid-19 preventive norms not only in the school premises but also while reaching the schools.
“In the city, kids come to schools in a rickshaw and school bus where it is difficult to make them follow the social distancing norm. Also, it is a very difficult task to make the children keep their masks on for three to four hours,” said Bhausaheb Badade, headmaster MES Bal Shikshan Mandir school, Deccan Gymkhana.
“Many families have shifted to their native places and arrangements would have to be made before those kids would be able to join the school,” he said.
Sarika Babar, principal-director of Clara School in Hadapsar, said that the schools would have to follow the hybrid model of education for a while and a smooth transition is required to shift back to the offline education mode.
“We have been receiving a mixed response from parents about sending kids to the schools. Also, many families are still out of town so online classes will also continue. The kids have lost the touch of getting educated in the classroom so we would have to give some time to pupils, parents and teachers to get used to the classroom routines,” said Babar.
School education minister Varsha Gaikwad said that the SOPs would be updated in consultation with the paediatric task force as some of the students would be attending the physical classes for the first time.
Babar said that in the initial period it is essential that the number of students in the classrooms is less.
“That way teachers would be able to control the classroom. Also, it would help to follow the Covid-appropriate behaviour,” said Babar.