A big sigh of relief as BMC puts off school reopening

School authorities, teachers and parents of students studying in Classes 9 to 12 are relieved with the direction of the state school education department to let local authorities decide whether to reopen schools physically from November 23. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday announced that schools will remain shut till December 31, 2020 owing to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Principals and school teachers state the situation and risks involved vary at different parts of the city.

The principal of a Dadar school said, "The number of COVID-19 positive cases is increasing in the areas near the school. We are worried about resuming physical lectures for students of Classes 9 to 12 from Monday because our students, teachers and non-teaching staff will be at risk."

While, Sangeeta Shanbaug, a teacher of a Borivali school, said, "It is too early to reopen physical schools as a second wave of the coronavirus is expected. In addition, while catering to a class of students, we are at dual risk of spreading the virus or contracting it from the pupils. I do not want to put my students at risk especially during such a crucial time."

Some parents of students studying in Classes 9 to 10 are relieved with the direction while, others are unhappy as their children do not have access to online education.

Ketki Lal, a parent said, "I had given my consent to let my daughter attend physical class after a deal of contemplation. I was skeptical but now, I hope the local authorities analyse the ground situation and defer reopening of physical classes."

Bernard Lobo, another parent said, "My kids were relying on physical classes because I cannot afford online classes. But now, I think my children will have to wait for a few more days without any learning." Prasana Sharma, a parent said, "I work in essential services so I have not been able to stay at home and guide my children with virtual classes. I want physical schools to reopen so that my children can understand concepts better."

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Free Press Journal