NEW DELHI: Students of Class 10 and 12 in government and private schools in Delhi on Monday were given a rousing welcome, with all Covid safety protocols put in place, some ten months after educational institutions were forced to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The move comes ahead of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examination scheduled to begin in May.
Deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia took to Twitter to wish students:
"Best wishes to the students of class 10&12th who are going to visit their school today after 10 months... (though it's only for a limited purpose and with covid protocols..) But still... I am glad that schools are opening in Delhi today," Sisodia tweeted.
Kusum Shahwali, Principal of Sarvodaya Kanya Bal Vidhyalaya No-3, Delhi, said that her school is following all COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of students and teachers.
"We are doing thermal checks of everyone before they are entering the school premises. We are providing masks to students who don't have one. We are also making sure that students sanitise their hands regularly and maintain social distancing in school premises," she said.
According to Neera Rao, Principal of Harcourt Butler School in Delhi, ahead of the upcoming board examination, the students needed revisions and practice, that can only be done in a classroom with the guidance of a teacher.
"If we expect good results in the examination for students, teachers have to clear all their doubts in the class, by maintaining an eye to eye contact. Students were not able to understand things online as well as they can understand in class. Now we can take their revision. Though the course has been reduced, students still need the practice to write papers, that only teachers can teach in class and can't be done at home. They needed guidance," she said.
Rao said that although schools have reopened, attendance is not compulsory and students have the option to choose between online and offline mode of education.
"If they are coming for offline classes, they have to bring the consent of their parents and we will ensure they follow all social distancing norms," she added.
Students who attended the schools on the first day after reopening were excited to meet their teachers and friend after nine months, and said they were struggling to get their doubts cleared in online classes.
"Those our studies were going on but there were multiple hurdles in getting all our doubts cleared. Sometimes there were network issues on our end and sometimes on the teachers' end. Now that schools are open, we can clear all our doubts in person and also understand the changed pattern of examination," said Priyanshu, a class 10th student.
He added that his schools have divided his class into two classrooms to ensure social distancing is maintained.
"Our teachers have told us that we will have to follow all Covid-19 protocols in schools by maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. We also have to sanitise our hands regularly," he added.Rinku, a class 12th student who also attended the first day of school, said he was not able to maintain discipline in his study schedules as well as he did during classroom studied, and added that the classroom studies were needed to clear the doubts before the upcoming board examination.
"In online classes, one can't have the same level of seriousness and discipline in studies that can be maintained in the school. We are thrilled to be back in school. We can't get our doubts cleared properly," he stated.