The active tally of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh has risen again to concerning levels. On Sunday, the cases stood at 1,725 as 552 people tested COVID-19 positive. Most cases are now being reported from urban spaces such as Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, and Meerut. Amidst all these, the main focus is now on the schools and colleges of the state. While some have reopened for offline classes, others are continuing with the blended model.
The schools in Noida and other nearby NCRs have been ordered to remain closed up to January 14 owing to the rise in the number of COVID-19 and Omicron cases and the perpetual cold waves. Schools in Noida, Greater Noida, Hapur, and Ghaziabad have already been shut for a period of 15 days. Further, the government has announced winter vacation while no guidelines have been issued for the private schools.
However, many schools in Lucknow had decided to conduct offline classes despite the increasing COVID-19 cases. This will be done in accordance with the necessary protocols and other SOPs announced by the state government. Most of these schools had to truncate the winter vacation in order to make up for the loss in teaching and learning. In some schools, the classes are still being conducted in the blended mode, i.e. both offline and online.
At this point, the parents seem to be on tenterhooks. They are wary about sending their wards back to the schools for offline classes. Some parents have mentioned that despite the problems faced during online learning, they are now hesitant towards sending their children to the schools. The problem with young students is that they cannot be expected to follow COVID-19 protocols as they play, share tiffin and fail to sanitize regularly.
On the other hand, authorities from Hoerner College have stated that there is a need for normalcy. Nobody should panic and adhere to the COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing and using hand sanitizers. Many schools have now resumed offline classes starting from the entry-level up to class 12. Some colleges, however, are still continuing with the blended model for holding classes.
It can be inferred that despite the spike in COVID-19 cases and the increasing threat of the new Omicron variant, educational institutions in UP seem to incline towards the offline mode of teaching and learning. This, however, is justified keeping in mind the prolonged use of online methods that somewhat affect the entire process. So, even if the schools and colleges are reopening gradually, it is important that the students ensure proper adherence to the laid down protocols.