New Delhi: A few children have been reported to be Covid-19 positive in Delhi, as Covid-19 cases are on the rise once again. Several Delhi schools that have adopted an offline method of learning are cautious of Covid-19 norms, while others are receptive to a hybrid mode of learning. The Sunday Guardian paid a visit to a few schools and discovered that only a certain number of students are following Covid-19 guidelines. The parents, on the other hand, have requested that their children wear masks and be aware of the virus.
“My daughter is in Class 12 and she understands the seriousness of Covid-19. She has also seen that many of her friends are not wearing masks or maintaining basic hygiene. The teachers have been making students aware of the rising Covid-19 cases, but students don’t take them into consideration. Half the time, the teachers have asked students to use hand sanitisers and wear masks, but the students are reluctant to follow,” a parent, whose daughter is studying at Indraprastha Girls Senior Secondary School, near Jama Masjid, told The Sunday Guardian.
Other schools had similar stories to share. When this correspondent approached some kids at Hemnani Public School (HPS), they said that the teachers were really concerned about the Covid-19 situation. However, the correspondent observed that only a few students were wearing masks. “The school authorities monitor our temperature in the morning and then only allow us to enter the building. If a student is reluctant to follow any Covid-19 protocol, the teacher will punish them and ask the student to stay out of the class,” a student from Class 3, studying at Hemnani Public School, told this paper. She was escorted away by her parents, who stated that she had tuition to attend.
However, some local shops and locals told this newspaper that the students had not previously been wearing masks. They have seen that the students have been wearing masks for the past three to four days, but that most of the students are still hesitant to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. Their parents, too, are indifferent and have stopped instructing them.
“It is good that the students have started wearing masks. Earlier, many students were too naive to consider wearing masks. Now I see that the guards are also observant,” an ice cream seller, who stays outside the school every day told this paper. He has also observed that most of the students take off their masks once they are out of the school.  Many young kids are also becoming less aware of the rising Covid-19 cases. Akasnha, a student at HPS, told this correspondent, “Most of the students bring their own sanitizers, but hardly anyone uses it. The teachers have been asking students to be aware. My parents fear that if the Covid-19 cases keep on rising, we will again have to go for the online mode of education. Currently, we attend offline classes and we enjoy our classes. It feels good to be back.”
Similarly, a parent of a seven year old kid said, “It is difficult to control the children, I understand, but we cannot let them sit at home. Some wear masks and some don’t; it depends on the parents to make them understand, though teachers try their best.”
Many parents are also happy upon receiving the news that vaccinations for kids are going to roll out soon. When the correspondent approached a parent enquiring about vaccinating their child, the father told, “My daughter will get vaccinated soon.”
On Tuesday, April 26, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children aged 6 to 12 and Biological E’s Corbevax for children aged 5 to 12. However, the final decision has to be taken by the expert body of the government. Also, during a COVID review meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also highlighted that vaccinating young children should be a top priority as COID cases are on the rise.
Speaking about the students returning to schools, a teacher from Springdale, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi, said, “Both the students and teachers are wearing masks and we are also following the hybrid mode of learning for now.”