Majority of Indian parents oppose reopening of schools

Only 33 percent parents in India support reopening of schools from September 1, according to a survey by LocalCircles

Aug 11, 2020

Only 33 percent parents in India support reopening of schools from September 1, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

Risk and unknowns of COVID-19, and hard to implement social distancing norms in schools pose risk to seniors in the family are among the top reasons why parents don't want schools starting from September 1.

Many schools started online sessions for the children to ensure that learning does not stop. As per latest media reports, the central government is now considering opening schools from September 1 as part of its final unlocking measures starting with Classes 10-12 and Classes 6-9 with a 15-day gap.

As a reaction to the media reports, many parents raised the issue of schools restarting on September 1 and subsequently, LocalCircles decided to conduct a survey to get the collective parent pulse on how they feel about reopening of schools in less than a month.

The survey received over 25,000 responses from parents and grandparents in different parts of India.

With total number of COVID-19 cases at 2.2 million and a daily case load of approximately 65,000, India now has the highest number of daily cases in the world.

The infection is spreading so fast in the country that it took only 20 days for the number of infected to increase from 1 million to 2 million and as per the WHO guidelines, children fall in the high-risk category.

Children if infected can be carriers of the virus and spread it to other members of the family with grandparents being the most vulnerable as many families in India have a joint family structure.

Parents were asked if they approve of the reported Government plan of restarting schools from September 1 for Classes 10-12 and for Classes 6-10 after 15 days. In response, 58 percent said ‘no' while only 33 percent answered ‘yes'.

With the majority of the parents opposing the reopening of schools from September 1, parents were also asked for the reason as to why they are opposed to schools in India starting from September 1, 2020.

In response, 13 percent said they cannot afford to take chances with children given the risk and unknowns related to COVID-19, while 1 percent said there is a serious risk with seniors in the family in case a child in the family gets infected. A 9 percent said social distancing will not be possible in schools, 5 percent said the Coronavirus spread will increase even faster if schools were reopened, and 2 percent said they believe online education is a good substitute given the situation.

As schools in America begin reopening, dozens of students and school staff have started testing positive for COVID-19, while hundreds have been ordered home quarantine.

In early May, Israel became the first country to restart schools and within a few days hundreds of students and teachers got infected. Kenya has decided to cancel the entire school year to protect the kids from the infection. (IANS)

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