Children attend a class after schools reopened for nursery to Class VIII standard students, as COVID-induced restrictions ease, at a School in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. (PTI Photo/Vijay Verma)
New Delhi: Schools in the national capital welcomed students of primary and junior classes on Monday after prolonged closure in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the virus induced restrictions eased, schools reopened for classes 9 to 12 on February 7 while classes nursery to 8 reopened from today.
"From today schools for junior classes have reopened in Delhi. Younger kid were desperately waiting for schools to reopen. Childhood is incomplete without schools. I pray to God that we never have to close schools again," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
Aryan, a fifth class student at SDMC school in Shanti Nagar, said, "I am happy as schools are reopening, will get to meet friends. We have been asked to wear masks and carry sanitiser. I am excited but I had to wake up at around 6:30 am to reach school. That is the only downside".
"I am happy that I will be sitting in class not at home. Feeling good. I hope the schools don't close again," said another student Piyush.
Several parents had come to schools to see off their children.
"My child was in second class when COVID-19 started and now he is in fifth class. Covid has impacted studies. It is good schools are reopening, I hope students stay safe and study well," said Reena, mother of two.
Reena's younger son has also got admission in the school in KG class. "I am glad. He is getting to attend school in person, not online."
"The students have suffered a lot because of lockdown and shutdown of the schools. They haven't gained much knowledge in the past two years. Hopefully, this cycle will end now and schools are open for good," said Ritu, another child's mother.
Schools in the city were briefly reopened before being closed again on December 28 last year in view of the third wave of the coronavirus driven by its Omicron variant.
While the Centre has dropped the clause that mandated parental consent for students to physically attend classes from its guidelines, the Delhi government has decided to continue with the clause.
The schools are, however, free to decide on the number of students they want to accommodate based on their infrastructure, keeping in mind Covid protocols.
Poonam Yadav, a third standard class teacher, said, "All students are very excited. We are also very excited because now approximately two years have passed but the basics of children are not very clear because they were not coming to school.Several students have been attending classes from their hometown. And many of them haven't returned. We have been contacting them".
"Many parents have assured me that they will be returning soon. We are hoping students will return soon. It will take time to return to pre-covid normalcy. We are expecting 50 per cent attendance from today," she said.