Home India Education 49% parents want children’s schools shut only if mutiple Omicron cases in...

49% parents want children’s schools shut only if mutiple Omicron cases in district, survey finds

LocalCircles survey drew response from 9,694 parents in 332 districts. 21% said they want no physical classes even if 1 case in their area, 18% want in-person school to close already.

Representational image | Students in a class in Haryana | ANI
Representational image | Students in a class in Haryana | ANI

New Delhi: A recent survey report on the effects of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, on the continuation of physical classes in schools has revealed that most parents want schools to be shut only if there are multiple Omicron cases in a district or nearby districts.

With the active Covid-19 caseload on a gradual decline in India, most states have reopened schools. The new variant of the virus has, however, brought fresh concern for health authorities.

It was this that prompted LocalCircles, a community social media and polling platform, to conduct an online survey to find whether parents want schools to be closed because of the new variant.

According to the survey, 49 per cent of 9,694 respondents said they only wanted schools to “Shut in-person classes if there are multiple Omicron cases in the district or vicinity”.

Twenty-one per cent of parents said they wanted authorities to “shut in-person school if there is a single Omicron case in the district or vicinity” and and 18 per cent said they wanted physical classes to be closed already because “Omicron has entered India and cases are likely to rise”, said the survey report. The remaining 12 per cent said they were unsure.

“When LocalCircles analysed the latest Omicron data in India, it appears that 50 districts may fall in this category”, where there is either one omicron case in the district itself, or within a 25-km radius, the report added.

Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka, besides Hyderabad in Telangana have reported cases of Omicron so far.

According to government data, the number of Omicron cases in India reached 77  Thursday.

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‘Risk of spread in schools real’

“With many parents realising that Omicron could again shut in-person schools for several months, a high percentage of parents are keen that in-person learning is maximised till it comes to their district”, said Sachin Taparia, Founder, LocalCircles, in a statement released Thursday.

He also claimed that “with five times more transmissibility of Omicron, lack of outdoor air ventilation in most classes, the risk of spread in schools is real,” and cautioned that “school and district authorities must keep a close watch on state of affairs and take timely decisions”.

The survey drew response from parents spread across 332 districts of India. Of these, 45 per cent of respondents were from tier 1 districts, 31 per cent from tier 2 and 24 per cent respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. While 61 per cent of respondent were men, 39 per cent were women.

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