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Education

Updated on: Sunday, November 21, 2021, 06:05 PM IST

FPJ-Ed: Mumbai parents sign online petition to reopen offline primary schools

Representative Image | File Image

Representative Image | File Image

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More than 2000 parents in Mumbai have got together and signed an online petition to urge the government to start offline schools for their children in primary classes. An open letter has been signed by parents and sent to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The parents say that some of their children have never seen physical schools and only have a concept of it from their online studies. They add that the absence of physical schools is bound to affect the overall growth of their children and urge the physical schools to start at the earliest.

"Anxiety and cases of depression among children are increasing day by day. A lot of children had stopped learning and are suffering from mental issues. When earlier COVID cases were rising the government took precautionary measures to manage the situation, but now when the whole world is opening and children are almost visiting every place like play areas, weddings, restaurants, or any other social events with their parents, so why are schools shut," asks Gayatri Sabharwal, a parent of two and a signatory. She even adds that it is just a request from parents to the government to reopen the schools which will hopefully be heeded to.

Their open letter to the chief minister includes a suggestion on how parent bodies and schools collaborate and create SOP's (Standard operating procedures) for reopening the offline schools. BMC and the government won't be responsible if the child gets COVID is also assured by the parents in the letter.

Schools have started offline classes for higher standards students only in Maharashtra. Still, no official GR has been issued for classes below the 8th standard by the state government.

"Everything was switched to online so were the co-curriculum activities like celebrating different festivals online, competitions, which have now reached the dead-end because children no longer can concentrate by sitting at one place that too in front of the mobile or laptop. They stroll around at home in the middle of the class and the teacher can't manage it now," says Suman Acharya, a parent from Mumbai.

Nikhil Chib, a parent from south Mumbai suggests an alternative that "Schools can go for the hybrid model of teaching. Parents who wish their child should attend offline classes can send them to school and others can opt for online classes. There are many alternatives available such as conducting classes in small manageable groups in open areas, terraces, or school grounds. If all the parents and schools cooperate, we can take a step for our children to get them back to the classrooms."

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Published on: Sunday, November 21, 2021, 06:05 PM IST
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