A survey conducted by LocalCircles to know if the parents want to send their children to the school revealed that 71 percent of respondents do not want their kids to attend school as coronavirus cases continue to rise unabated.
As per the new guidelines for Unlock 5.0, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the reopening of schools and colleges with restrictions beginning October 15. However, attendance is not mandatory.
The LocalCircles survey was conducted in 217 districts of the country with 61% parents from Tier 1 districts, 21% from Tier 2 districts and 18% from Tier 3, Tier 4 and rural districts. It revealed that the percentage of parents willing to send their children to school has dropped from 23% to 20% from August. Of the total, only 28% parents are in favour of schools reopening in 2020, while 34% feel they should reopen only in the next academic year.
All academic institutions have been closed since March due to the Covid-19 triggered lockdown. However, in September voluntary attendance for students of senior classes living out of containment zones was permitted.
When asked if the Centre and the state government decide that schools should open in October, would they be sending their child/grandchild to school in October, 71% responded in a clear ‘no’ while only 20% said ‘yes’ and 9% were unsure about it.
Respondents were also asked what their position was regarding the opening of schools in India. In response, 32% said schools should not open till Dec 31, 2020, while 34% said the government should not open schools for this academic year i.e. till March/April 2021. And 7% said schools should open from October 1, 12% said schools should open from November 1, 2020 and 9% said schools should open from December 1, 2020.
The public health emergency- Covid-19 crisis is not the only problem, the upcoming smog season in several parts of the northern states is also a major deterrent for parents to send their wards to school.
Last year, after the PM 2.5 touched 900 in Delhi- NCR, 74% parents had demanded that the government should announce a ‘smog break’ for schools from Nov 1 -20 each year, keeping in mind the negative health effects that the smog could have on children’s health.