‘My Child Can Lose a School Year, But I Don’t Want Her To Lose Her Life’- A Worried Parent
- ‘My Child Can Lose a School Year, But I Don’t Want Her To Lose Her Life’–A Worried Parent in Mangaluru expressing her feelings after learning that Government is planning on reopening of Schools, even when Covid-19 pandemic still exists. And this is not the voice of ONE SINGLE PARENT, it has been the voice of THOUSANDS OF PARENTS in the State and DK/Mangaluru
Mangaluru: Much of our state remains on some form of lockdown. But as Karnataka slowly starts to loosen restrictions, schools across the state are considering reopening. But there are still many more unknowns than guarantees. Among the biggest is a question that worries many parents – is it safe for my kids to go back to school? – though the parents themselves have been exhausted by the homeschooling when they were also working from home. With most of the educational institutions shut down in March, academics have taken a big hit. Yet, parents are in no hurry to send their wards back to school. They want to be absolutely sure that the COVID situation is under complete control before risking sending their children back to school.
Though many schools have promised they will take excessive measures to ensure the safety of students, the inaccessibility of a vaccine, the lack of widespread testing and the challenge of forcing playful children to keep social distancing at school are all risks that many parents are reluctant to take. Without treatments or a vaccine, there is no such thing as ‘safe’ reopening of school. The government and school management should think about the safety of the children, and not rush to reopen the schools.
Meantime, some teachers expressed their concerns that school buildings are not ideal places for students amid a pandemic and it’s difficult to make sure the people walking in are not spreading anything. Experts say in an ideal situation, reopening schools should be accomplished by widespread and frequent coronavirus testing. In this case, experts recommend that if schools are to reopen, the best way to lower risks is reducing social contact by putting children in the smallest groups possible. They also point to other measures, like wearing masks, temperature checks, hand-washing and frequent sanitization, and addressing these measures is vital.
Recently, the Central government and the state government of Karnataka has expressed the desire to reopen the schools in July. However, the residents of Bengaluru, and now join by Mangalorean parents too, are skeptical to send their kids to school. A group called ‘Parents Association’ based in Bengaluru has started an online petition where the members have signed to agree that they will not send their children to schools even though the government opens the schools. They even said that they will only allow their kids after the government declares the state coronavirus-free or until a vaccine is available. The petition also termed the move to open the schools in July as ‘insane’.
The petition on Change.org said Opening of schools in July will be the worst decision by the Government. It’s insane. It’s like playing with fire when we ought to douse it with full force. The parents should fight against this stupidity with tooth n nail, not a single child to be sent to the schools for their own safety. Bengaluru parents say they won’t send Kids to Schools until there is a Vaccine. The current academic session should continue in e-learning mode. If the schools claim that they are doing a good job via virtual learning then why not continue it for the rest of the academic year. It suggested that classes be held on a virtual platform. “If schools claim they are doing a good job via virtual learning, why not continue it for the rest of the academic year?” it said. A number of pre-primary schools too have supported the online mode of education, despite NIMHAN’s recommendation against it.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean one local parent who has been supporting the ‘Parents Association’ and has succeeded in convincing many parents locally here in Mangaluru in signing the petition in support of the Parents Association fight, is pro-photographer by Profession, Manju Neereshwallya said, ” I am not sure who would send their kids to the school no matter what the school says in terms of measures they want to take like social distancing, sanitiser, etc. They are least bothered for the risk of the kids. Sad state of affairs! The government is planning to open schools, colleges and institutions in phases now but they are planning to start e- Parliament session Why can’t they start normal sessions? Are our children testing kits? May be under pressure, they are rushing with their decision. My question to you is, will you send your kid to school or college even if one case of COVID is active in your area irrespective of containment zone?”
He further said, “Please join your hands to Protect children from this lobby. Share it and we can make it a movement for the safety of our Children and Young INDIA. I personally have decided not to send my two children, one in 7th Std and the other in 1st Std this Academic Year. Some people say, will not be a one year waste of Education? But that’s okay because the safety of my kids is important, and many parents have agreed with me on that point. We are not sure whether Covid-19 virus will go away soon, so why to hurry in reopening of schools. Think about your children health! If the school starts in July, I won’t be sending my children, even if I face any consequences. Please don’t support for community spread of COVID-19, it will be a problem for all. Think twice before deciding to send your children back to school, they are too small to understand the guidelines! Can you help me out by signing this petition?
Yet another parent (who wanted to remain anonymous), a mother of two children going to a private primary private school said, “I for one won’t be sending my child back to school. I don’t think it’s safe to do so, but making people feel guilty or torn isn’t OK. Dozens of parents in my neighbourhood have said they will not be sending their children back to school in July because they don’t think it’s safe enough. I don’t mind my child losing a school year, but on a safety health point, I don’t want her to lose her life. I hope other parents also will follow my decision”
According to yet another survey, while 56 per cent of respondents opined they will wait and watch for at least a month after reopening, and access the situation before sending their children back to school, barely eight per cent of parents are willing to send their kids back to school immediately. Homeschooling, a method of teaching not discussed or considered that often, saw a surge in ratings with 15 per cent of people considering it as an option. The survey also covered other important aspects of a child’s life including playing with other kids, going to birthday parties, engaging in sports, going on vacations, visiting malls and restaurants, and other such aspects that are associated with their regular life. Parents are now apprehensive, with 64 per cent of them unwilling to send their children to birthday parties for the rest of the year, even if social distancing norms are followed.
Similarly, while 35 per cent of parents are willing to let their children play with other kids, but with social distancing norms, 50 per cent want to wait and assess the situation before deciding. Fifty per cent of parents have said no to malls and movies for the rest of the year, but less than 0.5 per cent are willing to enjoy these activities as soon as the lockdown ends.
To sign the petition – “No Schools until Zero COVID Case in the State or until Vaccines are out.”, Please Click on the link below: