Schools in Mumbai resumed normal operations from Wednesday after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) education department gave the nod to go back to pre-Covid timings with 100 per cent capacity. More than the additional school hours, the students were excited about resuming extra-curricular activities such outdoor games, singing and dancing in groups, recess among others.
There was much excitement at the Ashokvan BMC school in Dahisar as all morning session classes began at 7.15 am, almost two years after the schools in the city were closed for offline classes when Covid-19 broke out in March 2020.
In between, the schools were allowed to hold offline classes when Covid-19 curbs were eased but with limitations such as restricted timings and capacity, staggered batches to ensure physical distancing, no group activities such as assembly, recess, sports or other activities among all.
All students in this Dahisar civic school were excited to participate in the morning prayer song and the national anthem. A few also had to seek the help of their teachers and friends as they had forgotten lines of the pledge.
Priti Kamble, a class 5 student, shared how she is happy to be back to school for full sessions. “I have to wake up early but this is more fun to be able to sing with others in the school in the common area, instead of just studying in class,” she said.
Many of the students said their parents were happy to see them waking up early to get ready for school. A class 3 student Nitesh Patel, who was excited to share that he woke up without parents calling him, said: “Now I will get to play with my friends during recess. That was the most fun I had when I was in class 1, before online classes began.”
Agatha Dias, a teacher, said that the attendance is good and only a few students who are out of Mumbai are absent. “During the pandemic, few parents went back to their native places along with their children. Since online classes continued for a long time, they preferred to stay at their native places. But now that schools are 100 per cent offline, those children too are expected to return by next week,” the teacher said.
Even as several schools in the city have resumed classes in full capacity, many others are yet to. The non-state board schools are mostly preparing for exams. With board exams starting in just two days, state board schools are also working out a plan to accommodate full capacity offline classes. However, partial offline learning continues across all schools.
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