Bhopal: Parents oppose sending kids to schools; say kids are no testing kits

BHOPAL: Parents in the city are against sending children to schools reopening from September 21.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for reopening of schools for students from standards 9 to 12. There is also a fiat that only those schools and colleges, which are outside the containment zones, are allowed to operate.

The SOP has prompted concerns among parents. They have told Free Press the kids are no testing kits. Most of the parents say they will visit the schools to check whether the corona safety norms are in place.

According to the SOP, the students are allowed to visit schools on voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers subject to written consent of their parents/guardians.

A businesswoman Anu Bundela’s daughter studies in grade 11. Anu says as the number of corona cases is increasing, sending children to schools will be risky. “Our children are not testing kits. Why is the government doing trial on them?” she says. Anu is happy about online classes and coaching.

A homemaker, Sucheta Singh, says she is opposed to taking such a risk as sending her daughter, a student of grade nine, to school at this juncture.

It is better to wait for a vaccine before sending the children to schools, since the younger ones are unable to maintain distancing norms, Sucheta says. Children may, however, be allowed to take examinations, she says.

Likewise, Vandna Singh Parihar, owner of a boutique, says she will not send her son, a student of grade nine, to school. She may let her child go to school once the number of corona cases reduces. She will visit the school to check whether the corona security norms are followed. If that satisfies her only then she will convey her child to school, she says.

The son of another homemaker Pooja Chakradhar studies in grade 11. She is against sending him to school, because the corona cases are shooting up in the city. Most of her acquaintances have been afflicted with the disease. So the question of sending her son to school does not arise unless a vaccine is developed.

Another businesswoman Neelam Singh has twin children – a daughter and a son – who study in grade 11. She says she has not yet thought of sending them to school. If other children go to school she may allow them to return to their classes, but not before October.

The daughter of Chanchal Singh Rajput, another businesswoman, studies in grade 10. She says she will keep away from sending her daughter to school for one week. But if the school follows the anti-corona norms, Chanchal may allow her daughter to attend classes there.

"We are not reopening school for any classes from September 21. Only 30% of teachers will come to school on that day. We have planned to make our own SOP. We will invite a few parents to the campus and let them see whether the corona safety norms are in place. And then, we may reopen the school for classes 9 and 12 from the first week of October. We will go one step ahead of what the government has prescribed."-Faisal Meer Khan, PRO, Delhi Public School

"We are working on implementing the SOP, issued by the government of India. We have made a time table and printed consent forms. We will send those forms to the parents to get their consent as well as that of their children for attending classes. We will give different time slots to each student and try to conduct classes in an open area or in a big hall to maintain social-distancing norms. Students will have to take appointments before a day to attend classes."- Shailesh Zope, principal, Anand Vihar School

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