After six school-going children in Vizag tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, concern looms over the city. Many of the parents in Vizag are doubting if the Andhra Pradesh State Government’s decision to reopen schools is really a step in the right direction. It’s been ten days since the schools opened in Andhra Pradesh. Be it the worried parents, or the Covid-19 restrictions imposed at schools, none of the classrooms are running at full attendance. It is learnt that many private schools in Vizag have taken note of this and have started taking opinions from parents on how to conduct offline classes safely.
It has been indicated that the third wave of the pandemic is likely to affect children more. Hence, a majority of parents are worried about sending their children to school during these circumstances. Highlighting this concern, Yo! Vizag has talked with some parents in Vizag and understood their concerns regarding offline classes.
Usha is a resident of Chinna Waltair. Seeing that Vizag is still reporting a fair number of Covid-19 cases, she is not willing to send her children to school. “We were sent a circular by the school management, asking for our opinion on the conduct of offline classes. A form has to be filled and dropped in the suggestion box at school. The circular was sent to parents of children from all classes starting from nursery. Looking at the number of cases in the city, we cannot send our children and take risks.”
Swapna’s two children study at a private school in Vizag. She opined that online classes should continue till the situation returns to normal. “Just a few days after schools reopened, we can see children being affected. In such a situation, children, with low immunity levels, are vulnerable and even elderly people at home can contract the virus from the children. It is better to have online classes until the situation comes to normal.”
Naidu also agrees that this is not the right time to send his children to school. “We have been sending our children to school everyday. A week later, our younger child fell sick and we were worried that it was Covid-19. Even the teachers asked us not to send our children until she gets normal. Once the children are at school, we do not know whether they are wearing a mask and maintaining social distance. In such a situation, sending them to school is a worry everyday for us.”
Manjula, who is a resident of Gopalapatnam, hasn’t had to send her children to school yet. She feels that it would be better to first vaccinate all children before allowing them to come to school. “We were told schools are likely to reopen for our children’s classes from mid-September. But the number of Covid-19 cases seen in children this week is making us rethink. Despite schools being sanitised, we do not know if the children would stay safe in the school the whole day. It would be better to vaccinate all the children and then open the school.”