A section of parents also supported the decision, asking why students should be barred from attending physical classes outside the home to play or attend a wedding anyway.
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Private schools that took students back argued that prolonged online classes had an impact on their students’ overall learning. Last week, the Department of Education sent out notices to recall students at about a dozen schools when there was an order against it but it did not prevent it. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has ordered the closure of schools. Schools are closed for the better part of the last 30 days. “There is a clear lack of planning. Previously, only teachers and principals competed that schools should not be closed when all other things are open and running at full capacity. Now, even the parents are supporting us, ”said Yashpal Yadav, state president of the Haryana Education Association.
Schools, however, are not operating at 100% capacity. The Haryana government had planned to reopen the school completely from December 1 but decided to continue the classes at 50% capacity due to high levels of pollution and concerns over the omicron form of the coronavirus. Most schools remain in hybrid mode.
At the same time, some schools are struggling with both online classes and fee collection and pushing for a full return to the classroom.
“Concerns about Omicron are valid and who knows, there could be another lockdown. This is a situation that no one can compete with. Until then, however, physical classes should be allowed. Air pollution is not the same as before. And no matter what, the students are going out for weddings and other occasions, ”said the principal of a private school who asked not to be named. The school has been calling students for classes for a week now.
Some parents have supported this decision. “I have two children – one in class 6 and the other in class 12. I want my kids to go to school. They are losing social skills and their mental health is deteriorating due to house arrest. If students only have to study online, why would parents enroll in their school and pay hefty fees? It seems unreasonable to me to keep the school closed due to pollution. It’s a recurring problem and the school and parents have learned to live with it, “said Anju Kapoor, a lawyer.
Academics agree that education was damaged during the epidemic. “Online learning was a mixed response. Some schools have successfully transformed, but others have struggled. Somehow, we’ve all managed everything for two years. But school is not just for learning. There’s something you can’t teach through books or online classes.” “Besides, keeping kids in front of laptops all day is affecting their concentration and health,” said the principal of a leading school in the city.
An education official said they would take action against schools that disobeyed government orders.
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