Schools in Delhi reopened on Monday for classes 9 to 12 after the increase in COVID-19 cases had led to their closure in December.
As per Delhi Disaster Management Authority's (DDMA) latest guideline, there is no cap of 50 per cent student strength and "the heads of schools shall call the students in such numbers and manner, taking into account the available space/infrastructure/facilities of their schools, so as to ensure that COVID-appropriate behaviour".
Delhi Deputy CM and Education Minister, Manish Sisodia interacted with students at Delhi' Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya as classes 9 to 12 reopened in the national capital today.
"We are happy the schools reopened. Online classes are just alternatives. We were eagerly waiting for classes to resume offline. I spoke to students today, they are also of the opinion that classes are better in schools offline. The one to one interaction of teachers and students is necessary for better education," said Sisodia.
According to the Deputy CM, more than 95 per cent of government school students and around 50 per cent of private school students have been vaccinated with the first dose, but there are no such criteria that only vaccinated students will be allowed to enter schools, teachers need to be vaccinated.
"The whole generation's education is affected due to COVID. I hope the students will be able to recover the learning loss due to COVID restrictions," said Sisodia.
Sisodia informed that the schools are following the COVID protocols of face masks and social distancing strictly. "Offline classes for Nursery to class 8 would start from February 14", said Sisodia.
Manish Sisodia added, "60-70 per cent of students (in classes 9th and above) can be called to schools depending on the school's adequate infrastructure & parents' permission, but online classes will continue for some time."
Speaking to ANI, a student of Delhi's Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya said, "Parents are a bit sacred but they sent me to school as there is loss of learning in the online mode of education. Teachers are also able to teach properly in offline classes."
Jyoti, a class 12 student said, "We are fully vaccinated and following COVID protocols in our schools. Our family was also okay with sending us to schools." According to her, in the offline mode of education, the learning is better as they are able to consult the teachers about it sitting face to face.
The DDMA has also given importance to the blended/hybrid mode of the teaching-learning process (online & offline).
Students also arrive in ample numbers at the Mayo International School in Delhi's Patparganj. A parent at the Mayo International School said, "One to one interaction of students and teachers is very important for better learning."
A student of Mayo International School said, "The reopening of school is both good and bad. Bad because the COVID is on and there are chances of it increasing again. It's good as in offline classes there would be fewer distractions compared to the online classes. Especially for students appearing for board exams, it would be clearer for them about the formats as the teachers would prepare them about it."
A teacher of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya while speaking to ANI said, "We made sitting arrangements from beforehand. For example, if a classroom has 25 seats, we are allowing exactly 25 students only. The students are called alternatively." She further informed that today a total of 150 students are present at school.
The Centre on Thursday said that the districts having less than five per cent COVID-19 positivity rate can think of reopening schools but it is up to the state governments to take a call in this regard.