Some of the schools have decided to ask parents to monitor the children's movements after they leave for home once in-person classes resume.
Since the students who will be going to school are in senior classes and they can travel on their own, they might be under "temptation" to take a detour home and expose themselves to the risk of contracting Covid-19.
The state government has allowed schools to reopen from February 12 for students of Classes IX to XII.
Julien Day School, Ganganagar, has sent a note to parents asking them to send a message to the respective class teachers that the child had reached home.
“Parents need to call the concerned teachers daily to let them know that their wards have reached home safely and on time. We care for their safety hence, you need to help us monitor their movement from home to school and back home,” stated the letter from the principal to the parents.
“The class teachers will alert you every day through a message if your ward is present at school and you in turn should inform the teacher that your ward is back home on time.”
The letter also mentions the timing of the classes to help parents monitor the students. It also mentions that if necessary, the class teachers will create WhatsApp groups of the parents.
“For those students who will agree to come to school, we will keep a record of where they are staying. It would give us an idea of how long a student would take to get back home. These are senior children who were at home for many months, so there is a possibility that they would want to roam about unsupervised and we want to curb that for everyone’s safety,” said Bobby Baxter, the principal of Julien Day School, Ganganagar.
The authorities of Mahadevi Birla World Academy and Sri Sri Academy will talk to parents about monitoring the children’s return home and Indus Valley World School has decided to address students since they are “senior students who have to be taught to be responsible”.
Also, monitoring is needed because the students who will be going to school are board examinees and they should not jeopardise their safety before the examinations.
Several schools are calling students for practicals and rehearsals before the board examinations.
“We have a parent's orientation before the students start coming to school with a video simulation of how things will run. During that meeting, we will also tell parents to make sure students follow the safety protocols and parents should not give in to the children's whims and fancies because they have to appear for board exams. The concern for safety is both for children and adults,” said Anjana Saha, the principal of Mahadevi Birla World Academy.
Rita Chatterjee, the director of North Point Senior Secondary Boarding Schools in Calcutta, said there were many areas that would have to be covered before bringing in students to school.
“We are writing to parents telling them they have to strictly oversee how children are coming to school and returning home…. Children, too, have to be counselled," said Chatterjee.
“Many of the Class XII students are on the brink of adulthood and we will address them about the safety concerns. It is imperative to come to school but they have to be told that not being responsible can expose themselves and others to the risk and further jeopardise their coming to school,” said Amita Prasad, the director of Indus Valley World School.