Delhi government will reconsider the reopening of schools in a meeting scheduled to be held today. Delhi education minister and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is in favour of reopening schools. A delegation of parents had recently met Sisodia making a case for reopening of schools considering the wellbeing of students.
COVID cases and positivity rates are on the decline in Delhi. Thus, it is likely that a reopening decision will be announced today. The AAP government has also recommended the reopening of schools. “I agree with the parents’ demands. We closed school when it was not safe for children but excessive caution is now harming our children. A generation of children will be left behind if we do not open our schools now,” said Sisodia in a Tweet.
A delegation of parents of Delhi’s children led by policy experts Dr Chandrakant Lahariya and Yamini Aiyar submitted a memorandum to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The memorandum was signed by more than 1600 parents seeking reopening of schools.
The parents claimed that continued school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years have not only resulted in a huge learning gap among children but also affected their mental and emotional health.
Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, a member of the parents’ delegation, said that according to AIIMS, ICMR, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, NITI Aayog, WHO and several other organisations, the risk associated with COVID is very less among children.
Centre for Policy Research President Yamini Aiyar said that several researchers have found that children are even forgetting the basic mathematics and fundamental language skills. To bridge the learning gap, it is important for schools to reopen. Schools focus on the overall development of children, which is not possible at home and via online education.
After meeting the parents, Sisodia had said, “In the past two years, school children’s lives have been confined to their rooms. Instead of going to schools and spending time in playgrounds, all their activities now take place only on mobile phones. The pandemic-induced school closures have not only affected their studies but also their mental health.”
“During COVID, our priority was children’s safety. But since various researches have now found that COVID is not so harmful for kids, it is important to reopen the schools, as now is the time for exams and related preparations,” he added.