Covid norms go for a toss in schools of Telangana
The Telangana State government's decision to reopen schools in a hurry for students of Class VI to VIII has exposed the state of unpreparedness of schools and thereby causing concern among the students and parents particularly when the Covid-19 virus seems to be raising its ugly head again in the Telangana State.
Hyderabad: The State government's decision to reopen schools in a hurry for students of Class VI to VIII has exposed the state of unpreparedness of schools and thereby causing concern among the students and parents particularly when the Covid-19 virus seems to be raising its ugly head again in the State.
A visit to some of the schools has made it clear that most of the government schools do not have the luxury of accommodating one student per bench to maintain social distancing as per the norms recommended by the Centre.
Several schools like the Government High School, Begumpet-2 were found to be facing space crunch.
"Till recently, only students of Class IX and X were attending the physical classes. This helped us to accommodate one student per bench and to follow the Covid norms," said a teacher on condition of anonymity.
When The Hans India interacted with the students, they said, "Our class has 55 students.
Many have not attended the school today. So, our classroom could accommodate two persons on each bench," said Suhasini (name changed), a student of Government High School, Begumpet-2. The school is headed by Headmaster Suman Rathod.
But, he cannot give his full time to look after the school and ensure strict implementation of the Covid guidelines since he is also the in-charge Mandal Education Officer (MEO) for Secunderabad. He visits the school during morning hours and then leaves the responsibility of implementing Covid norms to some teachers.
Ishwari and Praveen of Class X said the classrooms were not big enough for maintaining physical distancing. The Class X students of English medium were asked to give examination sitting on the floor in open air in the school premises.
Minister for Education Sabitha Indra Reddy said that it was mandatory for schools to obtain written permission from the parents. But it appears that neither the schools nor the Education department had taken proper care in this regard.
For example, Varaprasad, a Class VII Telugu medium student, said his father works as a watchman. He was handed over a printed format which is in English. His father cannot read and understand English fully.
Prasad's is not the lone case. Another student Ganesh said his father works as a construction labourer and he cannot understand the contents of the form. So is the case of mother of Harini. They say they have been told by the children that they have been asked to get the form signed and they have done it.
Class leader Lakshmi pointed out that she had come to the class for the first time and does not know whether the premises was sanitised every day or not.
This school has only one watchman who also has to sweep, clean and sanitise all the 12 classrooms. A teacher on condition of anonymity said that the municipal staff comes once in a week to sanitise the premises.