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Visakhapatnam: Back to school after a long gap!

No online classes from February 25, say budget private schools
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The sound of the cooker whistling in the kitchen will no more be an irritant and the luxury of relishing the steaming hot breakfast in between the classes can no longer be experienced as children are preparing to bid adieu to online classes and head to school after a long gap.

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Visakhapatnam: The sound of the cooker whistling in the kitchen will no more be an irritant and the luxury of relishing the steaming hot breakfast in between the classes can no longer be experienced as children are preparing to bid adieu to online classes and head to school after a long gap.

As the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to reopen the schools for elementary classes from Monday, comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been shared with the managements to help functioning of schools in a hassle-free manner amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the cases of which are on decline significantly.

While those studying from Classes VI to XII have been attending schools from November last, students from Classes I to V will now attend classes as usual. But then, the biggest concern of parents is whether their wards will continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing in schools or not. "My son got used to washing his hands as frequently as possible. But we are not sure whether he will be with a mask for hours or not. After a prolonged debate over 'yes' and 'no', we finally decided to send him to school.

With the Covid-19 positive cases receding in the district, we somehow plucked up the courage to decide so," says R Jyotsna, a mother of a Class III student. A majority of parents, especially those with a single child, express similar concerns over reopening of educational institutions. However, a section of parents feel that no technology can replace classrooms.

"Classroom learning has its own advantages, among the teenagers in particular. Earlier, there is no other option left to us than to prefer online classes. But the question is how long can we shut the doors for our children and confine them indoors?" asks M Hari, a parent of two girls.

Compared to previous months, the school managements find a shift in the number of consent letters pouring in from the parents. "Six months before, parents were averse to sending their children to schools for apparent reasons.

Now, more than 70 per cent of them want their wards to attend classes," explains D Uday Kumar, Correspondent of Keystone School. While some educational institutions plan to keep the campus open for half a day, a few others intend to operate on alternate days. But the question that arises is whether it is still safe to reopen schools for all classes or not?

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