Gurugram students, parents want reopening of schools

Shutting schools due to rise in pollution is not a solution: parents

Many parents and students held a demonstration at Galleria Market here on Tuesday demanding that the schools be reopened.

One of the parents at the demonstration, Anju Kapur, said shopping malls, market places, and offices were all open and weddings were being held, but only schools were shut.

“Keeping the schools closed during the pandemic was understandable, but shutting them down due to rise in pollution levels in not the solution. The pollution levels in the city are always high. The Government must fix the problem. It seems education is the least priority for the Government,” said Ms. Kapur, a lawyer. Both her children study at Shikshantar School in South City-I.

Work-from-home mode

She said in many homes, both parents were working and had to attend office. “With ‘work from home’ having ended, these parents are finding it increasingly difficult to make safe and suitable arrangements for children, who are at home,” she said.

The parents and the children held placards that read, “We Want Our Children #BacktoSchool”, “Shutting Schools Is Not Cool” and “I Want To Go To School Pls!!”.

Jugnu Grewal, a mother of two children aged 11 and 17 years, said the decision to shut schools should be left with the school management. “Both my kids study at Shri Ram School Aravali and the school has air purifiers in all classrooms. All students are told to wear to N-95 masks. So, when they are at school, they adhere to the pollution-related directions more seriously compared to being at home. The Government must leave the decision to shut down schools to the respective managements. There cannot be one rule for all,” she argued.

Another parent, Supreet, said at least hybrid mode of classes should be allowed and the decision to send their wards to schools should be left to the parents.

Myra, a Class XII student at Shikshantar School, said she had not gone to school since December 2019, and only a month of her school life was left. She said that she wanted to meet her friends and return to school. A group of three friends, all students of Class V at Shri Ram School Aravali, said that being at home was “boring” and “unfair” to them.

Ms. Kapur said that parents have also sent an email to Haryana Chief Minister, the Pollution Department and the Education Department, urging the authorities to reopen the schools for the “mental, physical and emotional health of our children along with their educational progress”.

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