Govt schools gear up to resume physical sessions, private schools unsure
As the Haryana government allowed resumption of physical classroom sessions for students of 9-12 this month, principals of government schools in the city said they are expecting students to turn up to get their doubts cleared. However, principals of private schools said they will interact with parents to take a call on resuming physical sessions.
Schools across the state will reopen from December 14 for students of classes 10 and 12 and from December 21 for classes 9 and 11, nearly a month after the Haryana government decided to shut schools amid a spike in Covid-19 cases among students.
Students, this time around, will have to produce a medical well-being certificate and parental consent letter for visiting schools, as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the education department.
In a directive shared with all district education officers on Thursday, the directorate of education said that the state government has decided to reopen schools while taking cognisance of the board exams as well as the gravity of the Covid-19 situation. Both government and private schools will be allowed to conduct three-hour sessions between 10am and 3pm for students who are set to appear for board exams, as per the new schedule.
Gurugram block education officer Sheel Kumari said that schools will first reopen for students who are to take the board exams, followed by students of classes 9 and 11, with precautions such as thermal scanning and sanitization in place. “All health precautions and SOPs outlined in the directive need to be followed by schools and students. Students who wish to visit schools with parental consent are free to do so whereas the rest can continue with online classes, as before,” said Kumari.
While government schools are expecting students to turn up for physical classroom sessions, private school principals said that they would seek feedback from parents. “We will seek the consent of parents before asking students to visit schools. Since Covid-19 cases are still increasing, consent of the parent community will be crucial. Depending on the feedback that we receive and our examination and winter break schedule, we will take a call,” said Aparna Erry, principal of the DAV Public School in Sector 14.
Suman Sharma, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 4/7, said that the school was expecting students of classes 10 and 12 to show up to at least get their doubts cleared. “Prior to the closure, students had been visiting schools regularly. Since this is a crucial period for students in classes 10 and 12, they might prefer physical visits over online classes, if they get parental consent,” said Sharma.
Last month, the state education department had ordered the closure of all government and private schools in Haryana till November 30 as Covid-19 cases among school students started to spike, after physical classroom sessions at government schools for classes 9 to 12 had resumed on October 15. The closure was further extended till December 10.
As per the directive shared by the department, students need to get a basic health checkup done and get a health clearance, stating that they do not exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms and are healthy prior to visiting schools. Students need to produce a basic health check clearance letter before visiting the school. This check-up should have been conducted up to 72 hours prior to visiting the school. Along with the health clearance, students need to bring written proof of parental consent, as per the SOP.
The department said that free health check-ups at primary health centres (PHCs) and other facilities will be coordinated by the district administration, in consultation with the chief medical officer, to avoid any inconvenience to students.
On Wednesday, the district health department had directed all its primary and community health centres to test symptomatic teachers or students of government schools for Covid-19 whenever schools reopen. Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer, had earlier told HT that primary and community health centres had been told to test teachers and students, if found to be symptomatic.