Pune: A host of safety measures are in place in schools that are preparing to welcome students and teachers from Monday for classes after a long break brought on by the Covid-19 situation.
But most school principals said they would allow their senior teachers to work-from-home online if they face any problems or feel unwell or if any student falls ill when the schools reopen classes from IX to XII.
However, the reopening in most of the old schools in Pune is still being opposed by parent-teacher associations with many parents stating that they will send the children to school only when the vaccine is in the market.
Medha Sinnarkar, principal of Laxmanrao Apte Prashala in Deccan, said, “We have told our teachers who are above 50 years of age that they can take leave if they feel unwell or if a student in their class falls ill when the school reopens. However, the PTA has vehemently opposed the reopening. Some parents have even said that they don’t mind an entire year being wasted but they don’t want to risk the life of their children.”
Jyoti Masand, principal of Jai Hind High School and Junior College in Pimpri said told teachers above the age of 55 not to come to school.
“Those with diabetes or blood pressure or other such diseases, or those unwell can also apply for leave. We have about 10% of such teachers in our school. But we will be able to manage without them because only 10% parents have agreed to send their children to school while 90% have voted against it. But we still would need to open the school for the 10% students while the remaining will continue with online education,” she said.
Anwar Shaikh, principal of Poona College of Arts Science and Commerce, Camp said the reopening of the college is fraught with risks.
“While we have been getting calls from parents inquiring about the safety precautions we will take when the junior college reopens, a majority are against sending their kids to school. Even if all the parents agree to it, we have 1,300 students in standard XII. If 50% strength per day comes to school, the number is still 650 which is a crowd. We have over 150 teachers. While we have told teachers above 50 years of age not come to school and continue teaching via the online platforms, it is going to be a big risk for the remaining teachers too. How much can one sanitise, or how much can you tell students to stay away from each other?” he said.