Covid brakes: Delhi school group urges immediate resumption of classes | Latest Delhi News

New Delhi: A body representing over 100 private schools in Delhi has written to the Lieutenant Governor (LG), urging him to immediately reopen schools for pupils at all levels, and stressed that there can be no justification for maintaining schools closed while all other activities were allowed. to resume.

The National Progressive School Conference (NPSC) – an organization of 122 private schools in the city – said the prolonged closure of schools due to the Covid pandemic has harmed the mental and physical health of children, in addition to hampering learning. The NPSC letter comes a day after the Unaided Private Schools Action Committee, another major private school consortium in Delhi, wrote to the LG on Sunday and requested a meeting with them to discuss the reopening of schools. .

“Unfortunately, schools in Delhi have been experiencing closures due to pandemic for about two years which has had a huge impact on the mental and physical health of children of all age groups. The current scenario is creating d ‘huge learning gaps leading to a generational catastrophe that will inevitably have far-reaching and long-lasting repercussions,’ said the letter signed by NPSC President Sudha Acharya.

Schools were first closed in March 2020 when a nationwide lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19. It reopened for classes 10 and 12 for practical work and council preparation in January 2021 and classes 9 and 11 in February. However, just two months later, schools were again told to close on April 9 amid another Covid spike. On September 1, schools reopened for students in grades 9-12 and in-person classes resumed for students of all grades on November 1.

Subsequently, in a series of closures due to dangerous pollution levels, schools closed on November 13, reopened on November 29 and were closed again on December 2. The Directorate of Education (DoE) has allowed schools to resume in-person classes for grades 6 and above from December 18 after the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) gave the green light. But the Directorate of Education (DoE) issued an order on December 28, closing schools “until further notice”.

Last week, following a meeting with a delegation of parents demanding the urgent reopening of schools, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the government would recommend the reopening of schools at the Delhi Disaster Management meeting. Authority (DDMA). However, the DDMA meeting held last Thursday postponed the decision on the reopening of schools.

“I agree with their (parental) demands. We have closed schools when it was unsafe for children, but being overly cautious is now hurting our children. A generation of children will be left behind if we don’t open our schools now,” Sisodia said after meeting the parents. “Why are we the last among the big countries to decide this?” He asked.

In its letter, the NPSC said educators have observed not only gaps in learning, but also behavioral changes and mental health issues among students. Urging the LG to take the necessary steps for the reopening of schools, the body said the loss of learning would be irreversible if students were deprived of learning in the classroom.

“Online mode leads to undesirable scenarios such as increased exposure to violence and unwanted content, cyberbullying, global obesity, social isolation, feeling of uncertainty, aggression, frustration and depression,” the NPSC said.

The Unsupported Private Schools Action Committee, in its letter to LG on Sunday, said: ‘We humbly request that you please reopen schools as our students at all levels have been facing major learning losses for approximately two years now. We assure you of the safe and smooth reopening of schools. Many major metropolitan cities in India and abroad have reopened schools. We believe it is time for Delhi to make a firm decision to reopen physical learning spaces as well.

LG office officials said all “pros and cons are considered” by the DDMA before deciding whether to ease the curbs.

“Decisions to impose, revoke or relax restrictions are taken by the DDMA which comprises the LG, CM, Dy CM and other Ministers except Experts and the Chief Secretary. These decisions consider all variables of specific as well as broader public interest and are based on the advice of DDMA experts. The decision to maintain the restrictions is made by DDMA taking into account all the advantages and disadvantages of such a decision. All future decisions will therefore be made by the DDMA on the advice of experts after considering all relevant aspects, including compliance with proper Covid protocol and the general welfare of the people of Delhi,” the officials said. in a written response.

On Monday, Delhi reported 2,779 new Covid cases as the positivity rate stood at 6.2%. Moreover, the total number of patients (including suspected patients) admitted to hospitals was only 1,518, less than 10% of available capacity.

Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the community medicine department at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, said the continued closure of schools in the capital was inexplicable.

Kishore said there was a need for the government to reopen schools for all children and added that it should not be linked to vaccination. “One is unable to understand why schools in Delhi are not reopening while several other states are resuming physical classes. Vaccination should not be cited as a reason for the late reopening of schools. Also, there is no vaccine for children under 15. Schools should be reopened for children of all grades for their overall growth and development,” Kishore said.

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