Delhi School News: Let juniors visit schools once a week; Plea to Delhi LG | Delhi News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Over 60 parents of students studying in the lower classes in private schools have made a representation to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal seeking permission to allow their children to visit school at least once a week for music and fitness sessions and for educational and recreational activities.
Three mothers, whose children have missed 550 days of school till Thursday since the Covid-19 outbreak, started this initiative and were joined by others similarly inclined.
The letter to the LG says, “Primary and middle schools have been closed for 1.5 years in Delhi, the third longest school closure in the world behind those in Uganda and Nepal as per UNESCO data. The cost to children’s health of remaining at home is extremely high (especially for younger kids). Given that everything else in Delhi is open (and crowded), Covid cases are at a historic low, and DDMA has even permitted festive gatherings, reopening schools should become a priority.”
At present, students of classes IX -XII are attending school. Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), of which the LG is the chairman, has said it would consider reopening for other classes after the ongoing festive season.
The representation to the LG says, “There are abundant reports of health problems among children –physical health issues such as rickets, eyesight issues, decreased attention spans, disrupted sleep routines, anxiety, anger/aggression, depression, mood swings, psychological trauma, and emotional dysregulation. Reduced physical activity is leading to problems such as low muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, slow metabolism, obesity and eye problems.”
Tanya Aggarwal, lawyer and mother of a Class I student, said, “As an interim measure, students of up to Class VIII should be allowed to attend schools at least once a week for music, fitness and other educational or recreational activities. These can be conducted in well-ventilated spaces, subject to Covid protocols.” Dharini Mathur, another lawyer and mother of a KG student, added, “For primary school children, long-term denial of social play could potentially be a precursor to social isolation, loneliness, and serious developmental issues.”
The parents are questioning the hesitancy of the government in reopening the schools for lower classes when domain experts, including from AIIMS, ICMR, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine, Niti Aayog, UNICEF and WHO have spoken in favour of opening schools. Simran Khara, startup founder whose kid studies in Class I, said, “Media reports say the Delhi education department has found, consistent with worldwide evidence, that reopening of classes IX-XII since September 1 hasn’t led to a surge in Covid cases.”


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