Few schools, however, pointed out that their staff are not fully vaccinated yet or that they have running Covid facilities which might be needed during the possible third wave. Few school principals also pointed out that as per the internal surveys of parents conducted by them, they are still reluctant to send their wards for physical classes.
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Alka Kapur, principal, Modern School, Shalimar Bagh said her school has made extensive arrangements to undertake proper and constant sanitisation of classrooms, washroom facilities and other school premises which are susceptible to movement.
“Keeping in mind that Covid can spread rampantly by touching surfaces which may have virus on them, we have substituted the conventional tap systems with touch-less water taps and have additionally placed touch-less sanitisers and dispensers at various points across the school premises,” she told PTI.
“Another rule that will be enforced in a rather stricter manner is the maintenance of social distancing by following the demarcated marks inside the premises. Rigorous training sessions and workshops have been taken for the MPS fraternity to apprise them of the Covid-19 norms,” she added.
Anshu Mittal, principal, MRG School, Rohini said, “We are fully prepared to welcome back our students and are glad that the much-awaited decision has finally been taken. We have made it mandatory for each employee to get himself vaccinated, however, we can only succeed if all stakeholders, especially the parents cooperate with us”.
“The children have to be cautious and aware of their regular habits and interaction at school. Phased reopening is a smart move, as it will prevent overcrowding and at the same time give students a chance to relive their school experiences in a much safer manner. Classroom learning is essential to imbibe the sense of social and emotional well-being,” she said.
Authorities at Mount Carmel School in Dwarka, where a 100-bedded Covid care centre was started in May, say they will not open the school yet.
“We are not prepared to open our schools right now. We had asked Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia to actively make a provision to 100 per cent vaccinate all the staff and at least 70 per cent of students. They have not started vaccinating children and all my staff is not vaccinated,” Michael Williams, Dean of Mount Carmel School told PTI.
“The Covid-19 facility is open. We have doctors and nurses but there are no patients. We will take a call on seeing what is happening with the third wave. If there is no third wave, we will wrap up the facility and if there is we will keep it open. Everywhere where they have rushed to open schools, they have had to close them in two-three weeks. We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” he added.
The Delhi government on Friday announced that schools from classes 9 to 12, coaching institutions and colleges will reopen in the national capital from September 1. The government has, however, clarified that no student will be forced to attend physical classes and there will be no compulsory attendance.
“We wholeheartedly welcome this decision. It will be after more than 16 months that we will see our students back in school. We are sure all stakeholders are equally waiting for the day and are equally concerned about the health of children, but if we ensure all safety norms are followed we can get back to classroom education smoothly,” said Bharat Arora, general secretary, Action Committee of Unaided Private Schools.
Schools in the national capital were ordered shut last year in March ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. While several states started partial reopening of schools from October last year, the city government allowed reopening in January only for classes 9 to 12.
However, schools were again completely shut in April following an aggressive second wave of Covid-19.