Kolkata: DPS Ruby Park Parents Protest Outside Gate Against School's Lack of Liability on Campus Reopening
By: NH Desk
The Kolkata police were called to handle protesting parents outside the Ruby Park campus of the Delhi Public School, yesterday. The undertaking that parents had to sign as part of the programme mentions that the school is not liable for any potential COVID outbreak on the campus.
Members of parent-teacher groups said that they were peacefully protesting the school’s reopening within the pandemic and the mandatory physical attendance of every student. “Online classes have been going for almost a year, now. Why not extend it for a few more days till the vaccine drive gets done? At least, give us the option to continue with online classes,” said the parent of a Class 9 student.
“Many of us have vulnerable members in our families,” said another parent -- the mother of a Class 12 student with an immunodeficiency disorder, “what if my child catches the virus from an asymptomatic student? Maybe, at class, everyone would wear masks but what about recess or in between classes or on the bus? What then? Her condition already makes her vulnerable to lung diseases. The school has denied all liability but they are making physical attendance compulsory.”
Officers from the Kasba police station who were dispatched to the location said that nobody was arrested or detained and that the parents dispersed peacefully soon after their arrival. Parents, on the other hand, said that all they did was raise slogans at one of the seven school’s gates -- which did not warrant the arrival of constables armed with sticks and shields on the scene.
“Consider today’s bandh, now, do you blame us for being prepared?” a sergeant patrolling the area later in the day said. “This is our beat’s largest school and one of our top priorities. But of course, everyone was civil and the whole matter was wrapped up in minutes.” Patrolling vans were stationed outside a couple of the school gates for the remaining class hours.
Schools reopened in West Bengal, yesterday, for students from Classes 9-12. This move was taken following the likes of Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka Assam and others, all of whom allowed schools to reopen for the higher forms after the Central Board of Secondary Education announced the dates for its board exams: May 31.
In Kolkata, most schools saw a 60-70% turnup. Some of the more prominent institutions such as the Heritage School and South Point saw a 90% turnup, others such as DPS Ruby Park, Don Bosco and St Xavier’s saw a 50-60% turnup. School administrators have blamed yesterday’s pan-Bengal strike called by the Left Front as the reason for poor attendance records.
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