1.8k Parents Advocate to Maharashtra Government: If kids can go to malls and party, why not schools? | Bombay News

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MUMBAI: As the state reports a steady decline in Covid-19 cases, a group of parents in the city have called on the government to reopen physical schools for all grades.
The parents also wrote an open letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, highlighting the issues with e-learning and the impact of the pandemic on their children. The petition has been signed by over 1,800 people. The group is also running a campaign called #OpenMumbaiSchools on social media platforms. “Sir, our children have fallen behind in learning because of online school. They do not retain information, have difficulty concentrating, and are in great pain. It affects their mental health. Depression and anxiety are on the rise. Kids in the formative years barely read and their math skills have fallen behind, ”the open letter read.
Gayatri Sabharwal, a mother of two, said regular schools had resumed in most countries around the world. “As it stands, everything is open. Children go to malls, playgrounds and birthday parties, but are not allowed to go to school. In addition, we parents want the best for our children and we urge the government to allow the reopening of physical schools for all, ”Sabharwal said. She said the standard operating procedure should be left to schools and parents for better implementation of safety precautions. “We spoke to many pediatricians and they said it was safe for the kids to go to school. In addition, children have natural immunity. Even if they contract the virus, they have a mild infection, ”Sabharwal said.
Chef-restaurateur Nikhil Chib, who backs the petition, said children have reported a decrease and now that cases have declined, schools should reopen. “For those who don’t want to send their children to school, there is an online learning option. But that cannot be the case for all children for so long, ”said Chib. Currently, the state has authorized physical school for grades 8 to 12 in urban areas and grades 5 to 12 in rural areas. The state government is considering allowing younger classes aged 5 to 7 to attend physical school in cities and primary classes may be allowed in rural areas.
Tanya Dere, mother of a six-year-old girl, said children suffer in silence, their mental health, their physical health and even their intellectual health are affected.
“Online education is half as effective, the pace of learning is slow and untargeted. In addition to not learning, children today are socially awkward due to limited physical interaction. Now that most parents and grandparents are fully immunized, the risk of contracting the virus in children has also decreased, ”said Dere.
The petition says we need to learn to live as normally as possible because the pandemic may not end.

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