63% parents want online classes if district COVID TPR crosses 5%: Survey

63% parents want online classes if district COVID TPR crosses 5%: Survey

Amid fears of a fresh wave of COVID, a new survey says that at least 63 per cent of parents want classes to be switched back to the online mode if district COVID-19 positivity rate crosses 5 per cent.

“Twenty seven per cent of surveyed parents said once the COVID test positivity rate (TPR) in a district crosses 2 per cent, online classes should be restarted. While 63 per cent parents said if district TPR crosses 5 per cent, schools should make online classes also available so that learning is not disrupted for impacted students,” the survey report said.

Conducted by online platform Local Circles, it survey was based on 23,500 responses from citizens across 314 districts of India. While 62 per cent of the respondents were men, 38 per cent were women.

Forty-four per cent of the parents surveyed were from metros or tier 1 districts, 34 per cent from tier 2 districts and 22 per cent from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.

Only 34 per cent of parents surveyed were in favour of running full schedule physical classes. Another 34 per cent suggested shorter duration of school with no indoor lunch and snack recesses. Twenty-nine per cent parents were very clear that physical classes should be shut if district TPR is above 5 per cent.

“However, there are many schools across the country where the online education facility does not exist. In those cases, moving to shorter duration schools might be the best option till a point when test positivity rate rises substantially,” the survey added.

Schools across the country resumed in April this year after being shut for more than a year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts have also been warning against the long term impact of COVID-19 induced prolonged school closures.

On the basis of inputs from scientists, epidemiologists, virologists and paediatricians, data from the risk of re-infection and learnings from long COVID-19 in children around the world, a conservative approach is warranted in regard to continuing schools when cases start to increase and positivity rates rise. School administrations and district magistrates must keep a close watch on the test positivity rates and daily case-loads so corrective actions can be taken, the survey report added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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