A group of parents of primary and middle schoolchildren has written to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and other city officials, asking them to permit limited activities in schools for all students up to Class VIII at least once a week.
In the representation, the parents said that schools for younger children have been closed for over 550 days, which has resulted in not only learning loss but also caused immense harm to physical and mental health due to reduced physical activity and denial of social play.
The parents said that experts have concluded that younger children are at much lower risk of severe or fatal COVID-19 but the DDMA has still not taken a call to open schools.
They wrote, “We appreciate the DDMA’s concern for the safety of our children, however, we are also witness to adverse effects of long-term school closures. As an interim measure, we request the DDMA to permit students of classes up to Class VIII to visit their schools at least once a week to participate in sports, music, performing arts or other educational/recreational activities that can be conducted in well-ventilated spaces (such as outdoor areas), subject to COVID-19 protocols.”
They added that the Delhi Education Department has found, consistent with worldwide evidence, that reopening of Classes IX to XII since September 1, 2021, has not led to any surge in COVID-19 cases and that relief for children is critical and urgently needed to mitigate the physical and mental health problems they have been enduring for 1.5 years.
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