About 70% do not favor re-opening of schools now, survey reveals

Hyderabad: Even as Central and several state governments mulling over the re-opening of schools, an overwhelming majority of people are of the opinion that it is unsafe for the students to return to schools now, a poll conducted by siasat.com revealed.

Educational institutions across the country were forced to shut down in March before the 2019-20 academic year reached completion, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. After waiting for several months, many schools ventured into online-mode of teaching-learning.

In as many as 7430 votes polled in siasat.com’s survey on Instagram, 5190 people, i.e. over 70 per cent, said ‘No’ when asked if they want schools to reopen physical classes. Only 2240 (30 per cent) of them think it is safe for schools to re-open now.

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Of the many concerns that led a majority to choose ‘No’ is the fast-spreading news about the second wave of COVID-19. “I cannot send my ward to school when there are new variants of the virus, that are known to be quickly spreading, in all parts of the world. It is very risky,” said a parent of a 10-year-old, who added that she would only be re-assured after proper vaccination.

Months-long holidays, studying at the comfort of home are also contributing reasons which made 70 per cent vote against re-opening of schools.

30 per cent of those who voted favorably for resuming physical classes had specific, genuine reasons too. “I cannot study for my upcoming board exams sitting at home, it is very distracting. There is so much to clarify, which is not possible during an online class,” said Anjum, who is in her last lap of schooling. Some parents are also finding it difficult to manage their children’s mischievousness at home.

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“If at all schools are re-opened, a detailed health protocol must be put in place. Students do not necessarily understand and can flout the basic norms. There needs to be a middle ground,” said Anitha, principal of a government-run school.Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on January 11 is expected to take decisions on crucial issues like the reopening of educational institutions in the state, besides other matters pertaining to the revenue department and chalking out action plans for distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccine.  

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