Stricter Covid norms are back on campuses as private schools continue with or resume in-person classes amid a rise in cases.
Several private schools have issued notices to teachers and parents and told them to enforce stringent norms, which might have been relaxed over the past few months because of a sharp drop in cases, the heads of some institutes said.
Schools are asking parents not to send children with symptoms even if an exam is scheduled for the day and also calling off planned in-person programmes with large gatherings.
West Bengal recorded 551 new Covid cases on Monday, according to the state health department.
Doctors feel schools should not be closed but Covid protocol — such as wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining distance from each other — should be strictly followed on the campuses.
“If any child is showing symptoms of cold, cough and sore throat and running a temperature, the parents should keep him or her home,” said Apurba Ghosh, director, Institute of Child Health.
“We are seeing cases of Covid among children but they are mostly mild. Schools should continue with physical classes. Unless and until there is exposure, immunity does not develop.”
On Monday, South City International School issued a notice suspending large gatherings of students on the playground and in the canteen, library and the auditorium.
The notice also asked sports teachers to ensure students do not come in close contact with each other during physical education classes and other sports activities.
“Keep physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, even if they don’t appear to be sick. Avoid crowds and close contact,” the notice reads.
Indus Valley World School on Monday issued a notice to the parents telling them not to send children showing Covid symptoms to school.
“There is a tendency among parents to send children with fever to school after administering a medicine so that they do not miss a test. We cannot allow that… because we know the virus is contagious and can put more children at risk,” said Amita Prasad, director of the school.
Prasad said that over the weekend there were emails from parents asking them to have an “isolation facility” for those appearing for a test.
“We cannot offer isolation facilities for a 20-mark test because we will run out of classrooms. We have asked parents to keep children at home instead,” said Prasad.
Sushila Birla Girls’ School cancelled an in-person orientation meeting with parents of Class XI students, which was scheduled for Tuesday. The programme will now be held online.
“We did make a last-minute change because… of the rise in Covid numbers,” said principal Koeli Dey.