Shri. Shiv Dutt Salwan, Chairman Emeritus of Salwan Education Trust is a well known industrialist & philanthropist. He has dedicated a major part of his life towards furthering the cause of education.
Shri Shiv Dutt Salwan
The entire world is experiencing unprecedented times due to COVID-19 pandemic. It appears that we are in for a long haul as the virus would continue to raise its head wherever and whenever it finds weak defences, vulnerable situations and callous communities. It has, no doubt, changed our lives and social behavior and the way of doing things for ever. The virus has adversely impacted the livelihood of millions of people and it will be a long time before the communities and people, the world over, get back to normal life. Only, a vaccine will be a long term and durable solution against the virus. However, till it is successfully developed and administered at a mass scale, we would have to learn to live with and fight the virus on a continuous basis.
UNICEF has prepared guidelines for re-opening of the Schools. Centre for Disease control and Prevention, India, has also prepared Schools Decision Tools and guide lines to be followed after re-opening of Schools during COVID-19 situation. Similarly, CBSE is also expected to issue certain guide lines. Many other organizations, both private and NGOs are issuing advisories and organizing webinars on the subject. We are also engaged in serious brain storming, both at the School and at the Trust level in preparing a blue print for the safe re-opening of the School. Ultimately, it will be the State Government who would issue instructions allowing the Schools to re-open and function under certain restrictions.
The educational institutions, particularly the Schools, were the first ones to be locked down. Going forward, it appears that the Government would take a very carefully considered decision to allow the Schools to physically re-open. In the sequence of re-opening of public gathering spaces, the Schools probably would be the last ones to be re-opened and that too with many stipulations, conditions and restrictions. When would that happen, no one can predict today with any amount of certainty. That notwithstanding, the process of planning and preparations for the School’s re-opening is never too premature or early. SPS Gurugram is preparing a blue print for its re-opening which would be continuously updated as we observe, imbibe, learn from other’s and own experience and continuously educate ourselves.
We wish to use this forum to invite parent’s views on some important issues so that the School is better prepared to receive the students when it physically re-opens. Some of these are; how do we ensure that social distancing is maintained in the School premises? What protocols should be put in place to ensure that the School remains COVID-19 free? Should it be run in two shifts to reduce the number of students present in the School at any given time? Should the section strength in a class be reduced to 50 percent and the children be asked to physically attend the classes only on alternative days and receive real time class content online on the Stay at Home Day? How would parents like to send the children to the School? In School buses with reduced capacity or self pick and drop? What happens to those children who used to come to School in unsafe private vans in which it is impossible to observe the social distancing? Do we have staggered timings for various classes to reduce the rush at the School gate at the time of arrival and dispersal? Do we run the Day Care Centre, Swimming Pool, Library and the School Canteen or do away with it for some time? And there are many more areas which would require a re-think and departure from erstwhile practices. The ultimate aim would to provide a safe and COVID-19 free environment to children and to any and everyone who enters the school. The views of parents would be most valuable and we would take note of and examine every suggestion in this regard from parents before formalizing a plan to suit the maximum number of parents and students.
These are challenging and difficult times for everyone; students, parents, staff members school and for the society as a whole and together we would overcome these challenges by our firm resolve, understanding, co-operation and joint efforts.
Stay Healthy! Stay Safe!
Maj Gen Surinder Singh, AVSM, VSM, SM (Retd)
At Salwan Public School, Gurgaon, our mission is to create a warm, loving, secure environment that fosters creativity, curiosity, self-confidence and independence so that students may become models of peace and can succeed in an evolving world. We are committed to maintaining an environment that creates curiosity about learning, while engendering a love, respect and understanding of self and others.
We believe in the real issue in education: to see that every child leaves the school well established in goodness, both outwardly and inwardly.We want children to do more than just learn.
We want them to think. And then to take that understanding to change the world. And we believe that this begins here-at our beloved School. Although there are no words to describe our thankfulness for the pleasure of sharing your children with us, we can say thank you for your trust and encouragement- it is an infusion of spirit. I invite all of our parents to partner with our students, their teachers and administrators in helping to pave the path to what I believe are the endless new horizons of greater student achievement. I personally look forward to seeing all of you at our school throughout the year, we must be an active community together.
Thank you and happy days.
Ms. Rashmi Malik