BENGALURU: While the expert committee constituted by the education department suggested that schools be opened by the first week of August, a survey conducted across India found that 47 percent of parents are not willing to send their children back to school, till they are vaccinated.
Local Circles, an online platform, collected responses from over 32,000 parents across 361 districts. Of these 32,000 parents, 47 percent were from tier 1 districts, 27 percent from tier 2 districts and 26 percent were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
In Karnataka, when parents were asked whether they are comfortable sending their children back to school, 23 percent said they were ready, while 16 percent wanted to wait till the number of cases reduced in their respective districts. 12 percent said that they also want cases in their neighbouring districts to go down and 46 percent wanted their kids to be vaccinated first.
Interestingly, when asked if the state government decides to physically reopen schools from August 1, then will the parents send their wards to school, 47 percent of parents said a strict no, while 29 per cent were ready to send their children if the schools opened at 50 percent capacity and strictly followed Covid protocols. Only 18 percent said they are ready to send their wards back.
Several states including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh partially reopened schools earlier this month. On the other hand, states such as Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh are in the process of reopening their schools from August.
After schools were shut in March 2020 due to the lockdown, they were partially reopened in October in adherence with Covid protocols. They were again shut down in April this year due to the second wave.