70% parents want schools shut till April: Survey

Nearly 70% of parents who responded to a nationwide survey said they prefer schools in their respective states to reopen only post-April in light of Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown.

The survey was conducted by Local Circles, a Delhi-based community social media platform, and was based on responses from 19,000 parents across 224 districts in the country – 58% from tier-1 districts, 21% from tier-2 districts, and 21% from tier-3, tier-4 and rural districts. In Maharashtra, more than 2,000 parents responded to the survey, of which about 52% said they want schools in the state to begin only in April this year. Of these, 1,325 parents were from Mumbai.

In September 2020, Local Circles had conducted a similar survey, wherein only around 34% of parents had said that schools should begin from April 2021. Over the past months, the number of parents who think that way seems to have substantially increased. “A majority of parents are not willing to send their children to school even now, due to the risk involved. Some parents of students in Class 10 and 12 might send them as they have to prepare for board exams,” said Anubha Sahai, president of the Indiawide Parents’ Association.

Parents were also asked about whether they would consider giving the Covid-19 vaccine to their child after it is rolled out for school children. Only 26% said they would approve of it, while 56% said they would wait for three months or more to see the data and findings, and then make a decision.

In Maharashtra, as of December 14, over 10 lakh students are attending physical schools daily, while more than 15,000 schools have reopened in the state for Classes 9 to 12 since November 23. The administration of Pune will be reopening schools in the city for Class 9 to 12 from January 4, as per the Pune Municipal Corporation. In Delhi, education minister Manish Sisodia said that schools are likely to reopen only post-July 2021 after children are vaccinated.

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