According to an online COVID-19 survey conducted by the Maharashtra state education department, 1,89,095 parents have urged the government to reopen schools. A whopping 84 per cent of parents are in favour of reopening schools.
Initiated by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) the survey elicited response from over two lakh parents and a majority wanted to send their wards to school. The survey was open until midnight of July 12.
As expected rural parents want the reopening of schools as opposed to urban parents who did not mind online classes. Apart from mission out on education, the mid-day meal scheme is a huge attraction in rural areas. Many have been reeling under poverty in rural India ever since the pandemic started and wish schools start.
The state government recently permitted schools in rural areas with no reported COVID cases over the last month to begin physical classes for grades VIII–XII from July 15. With only main subjects being taught, classes will not extend beyond four hours. While the final decision to reopen schools will rest with an eight-member committee with the chief (sarpanch) of the village panchayat as its head, parental consent will be a must for attendance.
The government also reiterated its earlier stance of ensuring all teachers and school staff are vaccinated before the reopening of schools while warning strict action against schools neglecting COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). Students will also be subject to temperature checks when on campus. Anubha Sahai, president, India-wide Parents Association said that parents are also wary of sending their children as reports of a third wave surfaced.