At least five students and staff members of a top private school in Vasant Kunj have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, triggering concerns among parents about the safety of their wards and a possible closure of schools again.
While a section of parents claimed that the school did not inform them, and children continued to attend classes with those who contracted the viral disease, the institution categorically denied the charge.
“As students across the Delhi-NCR test Covid positive, schools are struggling with protocols. My child’s school has at least eight kids and two staff members who tested positive. But no proper information was given by the school. The school is functioning normally,” a parent claimed.
A top school management representative said the parents of students of each class where a student had tested positive were informed on the class WhatsApp group to take all COVID-19 precautions.
Reports of infections from schools have triggered concerns weeks after they opened for completely offline classes following a two-year gap due to the pandemic.
The fresh infections in the privately run schools in the national capital have been reported close on the heels of schools in adjoining Noida and Ghaziabad reporting new cases of the disease.
Noting a “slight” rise in COVID-19 cases, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he has directed the education department to issue guidelines on Friday in this regard.
However, both Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia maintained that the government is closely monitoring the situation, and asked people not to panic as there is no rise in hospitalisation.
“If schools don’t follow all protocols, they will have to be closed again and that will further cause learning loss to students,” said a parent from the same school.
Jyoti Arora, principal, Mount Abu Public School, said she is not in favour of closing down the entire school. She said it would be more practical to cordon off the particular class or block for a few days.
Shubhi Soni, head of the Shri Ram Wonder Years in Rohini said, “The COVID-19 pandemic will never go but the hysteria around it will end. It will be reduced to an endemic like influenza and the seasonal flu in the coming years. The government’s decision to make mask-wearing optional in public places is the reason behind the current spike in coronavirus cases.”
“School closures are not the solution as students have backtracked in learning, and it has taken a huge toll on their social and emotional well-being,” she said.
Her thoughts were echoed by Anshu Mital, principal, MRG School, Rohini.
“We as responsible citizens, must ascertain the veracity of news and only believe in facts. We must not fall prey to fake information as it infuses fear among the stakeholders and the society in general. As an educator, I hope that there are no school closures and we are able to impart continuous and qualitative learning to our students,” Ms Mital said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)