An overwhelming 97% of parents in Mumbai are opposed to the idea of reopening schools in the city anytime soon, according to a survey by LocalCircles, a community social media platform.
Over 10,500 parents — 61% men and 39% women — took the survey, which sought their opinion on the right time to allow children to return to schools. While 26% of respondents said physical classes should begin only after a vaccine for COVID-19 is found, 33% said students should stay away from school till there are no new cases in Mumbai and its 20-km radius.
A total of 15% of parents were of the opinion that children should go back to school only after no cases are reported in Maharashtra for 21 days. As many as 18% of respondents said schools should reopen only after active cases in Mumbai are reduced to zero, while 3% said they should wait till there are no cases in the country for 21 days. A minority of 3% of parents said schools should start classes from August 1 regardless of the severity of the COVID-19 situation.
With online classes likely to be conducted for at least six months of the current academic year, parents were asked if schools should revise their fee structure. A total of 88% said the fee structure should be revised. While 29% of respondents said only the tuition fee should be charged, 41% said they should be allowed to pay only the tuition fee and the information technology (IT) fee. A total of 18% said only 75% of the tuition fee and IT fee should be charged. Only 12% said the full fees should be charged.
According to the survey, 70% of parents said their children were attending online classes, 23% said there were some initial hiccups, and 7% said online classes were to yet start for their kids. LocalCircles has said it will submit the findings of the survey to the Maharashtra government.