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71% parents won’t send kids to school in October, 34% want reopening pushed to 2021 — survey

Survey finds parents are unwilling to send their children to school even if Centre and state govts allow schools to reopen from October with appropriate Covid precautions in place.

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New Delhi: As many as 71 per cent of Indian parents and grandparents said they won’t send their child or grandchild to school even if the central and state governments order schools to reopen, according to a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles that was published Wednesday. However, 20 per cent of the respondents said they would while 9 per cent said they were unsure.

The survey tallied more than 14,500 responses across 217 districts in the country. Of the respondents, 61 per cent of the parents were from Tier-1 districts, 21 per cent from Tier-2 districts and 18 per cent from Tier-3, Tier-4 and rural districts. Of the total, 68 per cent of the respondents were men while 32 per cent were women.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Unlock 4 guidelines in August, schools, which have been closed since the lockdown in March, will remain shut until 30 September. However, states and Union Territories may permit up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to schools for online teaching, tele-counselling and/or related work.

The guidelines also state that students of Classes 9 to 12 outside containment zones may return to schools on a voluntary basis from 21 September onwards. Some states, such as Tamil Nadu and Tripura, have announced that schools in their states will reopen in early October on a voluntary basis.

Also read: UGC now says first year classes will start in November, there will be no winter, summer breaks

Only 28% in favour of schools reopening in 2020

When the asked what their position on the reopening of schools was given the current daily Covid-19 caseload and the upcoming festive season, 32 per cent of the respondents said schools should not open until 31 December and 34 per cent said the government should not open schools until March or April next year, when the next academic session begins.

Meanwhile, 7 per cent of the respondents said schools should open from 1 October, 12 per cent said they should open from 1 November and 9 per cent said they should open from 1 December. This means only 28 per cent of those with school-going children are in favour of schools reopening in 2020.

Also read: IITs, IIMs & universities hired 350 teaching staff online during lockdown, says Modi govt


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