Parents getting their children into school buses after ensuring that they carried sanitiser bottles were seen across Delhi-NCR as schools decked up to receive students with the resumption of offline classes from Friday after over two years. While many schools reopened on Friday, several others plan to resume offline classes for all grades from Monday.
Sudha Acharya, the chairperson of the National Progressive Schools’ Conference (NPSC), which has over 120 private schools as its members, said the students were eagerly waiting for this day. “It is after two years that schools are re-reopening and students were excited to get back,” she said.
Acharya is the principal of ITL Public School, Dwarka. At her school, teachers conducted a special prayer assembly for students. “Teachers had prepared special performances for students and it’s like a festival today. Yesterday, we held a farewell for Class 12 students. At 11 am, we will tune in for the prime minister’s Pariksha Pe Charcha,” she said. Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh, reopened for only pre-nursery class on Friday while students of all other classes will be called from Monday.
“Today only pre-nursery students came to school to attend offline classes. From Monday, we will open for all students from pre-nursery to class 12. We want to make the process of reopening as comfortable as possible for students, parents and teachers. “In these two years, a lot has changed and we are accommodating these changes. We are prepared for resuming classes in these ‘new normal’ times while also prioritising face to face learning as students have missed on that the most,” school principal Alka Kapur said. According to Nidhi Bansal, Pro-Vice Chairperson, Pacific World School, steps to maintain proper cleanliness and hygiene have been taken.
“Our focus is to make children comfortable and get them to talk about their problems and emotional or mental quagmires that the pandemic had on children and resolve them in the best way possible,” she said. Schools across the country were closed in 2020 ahead of a nationwide lockdown in March to contain the spread of COVID-19. Schools in several states reopened briefly before the second wave in April 2021 but had to shut down soon after.
Schools reopened again but had to be closed in Delhi because of alarming levels of pollution. While they reopened in phases, the hybrid mode of classes — online and offline — became the popular approach and students were allowed to attend classes in schools only with their parent’s consent. Shubhi Soni, head of The Shri Ram Wonder Years, Rohini, said, “Our school is excited to welcome our bundles of joy to the premises as it opens for offline teaching from April 4. The school has been decorated colourfully to recharge the students with positive energy and embrace them in the brick and mortar scenario, she said.
“Regular temperature checks of children will also be done to minimize the risk of COVID-19. A full-time nurse has been trained and deputed to oversee compliance with all norms… We are reopening the school in a phased manner to slowly settle the children in a new environment. “Starting with bonding time classes, children will be asked to come according to the slots for a short period to acquaint them with school surroundings, peers, and teachers,” Soni said.
Anshu Mittal, the principal of MRG School, Rohini, said they are exhilarated to welcome our students back to offline classes after a gap of two years. “Various welcoming activities have been arranged to make students and teachers feel comfortable at school.
“Ice-breaking exercises have been planned to build a cheerful bonhomie between students and teachers to eradicate the disconnection they faced during the pandemic period. Peer interactions will also be held to encourage student bonding and repartee,” she said. Parents, however, complained of transportation being an issue. A parent of a class five student of Shri Ram Global School in Noida Extension said the first day was slightly chaotic, especially for the parents as some school buses were running late and they received multiple messages about the delay.
“The bus was delayed by almost 30 minutes and I ended up getting late for work,” she said. She, however, welcomed the resumption of offline classes, saying it would be a welcome shift for the students. “My son was earlier studying in Nagpur and today is his first day in his new school. He has been attending online classes in this school for the last one year.
“He will be meet his friends. Students had grown comfortable with the idea of online classes but this will be a good shift for them as they will get back to a proper routine,” the parent said.
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