Telangana: On-campus classes for 9th & 10th from February 1
Telangana Schools Reopen: Parents express concerns over students’ safety
Hyderabad: After being shut for 10 months since March 31, the stage is set for reopening of schools for class IX and X from February 1.
Telangana State Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy has announced the State government's decision for the physical reopening of the schools from February 1.
The minister along with Special Chief Secretary Education Chitra Ramachandran and senior officials of the Education department met the representatives of the parents' associations and private school and college management associations.
She tried to impress upon them about the steps being contemplated by the Government regarding safety of the students. She said that SOP guidelines issued by the State Government would be strictly followed while resuming the physical classrooms.
But if one goes by the forms being sent to the parents it makes it clear that no school is willing to take the responsibility of the health of the students.
It wants parents to certify that the schools were taking all possible measures to check possibilities of infection.
The Government also claims that the work on sanitisation of government schools has begun. But what remains a major task for all the schools is maintaining hygiene in schools. The headmasters are worried about the maintenance of washrooms once the schools reopen.
Speaking to The Hans India, Ram Reddy Headmaster of Zilla Parishad High School, said that the guidelines have been submitted to the DEO office. The school has started sanitizing the premises from Tuesday and would do so till 23. The arrangement of seating will be 1:18 for ten rooms. He, however, said that it was a fact that there was a shortage of sanitation workers. The schools do not have their own funds for sanitation and the Government had also not released any special funds for the purpose. Maintaining washrooms would certainly be a major problem.
He said the washrooms need to be cleaned at least thrice a day. "We have to depend on the municipal corporation for cleaning the premises.
The municipal corporation has its hands full and it would not be possible for them to allocate dedicated sanitary staff who can clean the washrooms thrice a day.
On Tuesday, he said, two workers had come to sanitize the school and there are no specific guidelines. Radha Krishna, Headmaster of ZPHS, Secunderabad, said that the Headmaster and Teachers have been paying the sanitation workers from their pockets.
Another problem is there are no clear guidelines on sanitisation of the chemistry laboratories and what kind of cleaning agents should be used. It is left to the teacher concerned to take care of the safety measures. The problem is most of the sanitising material consists of alcohol base and chemicals. There is a possibility of chemical reaction since the Labs would be having various kinds of chemicals to take up experiments by students.
In the backdrop of such issues, the representatives from the Hyderabad School Parents' Association felt that it was not wise decision to start physical classes now. Even the Supreme Court, High Courts and subordinate judiciary are continuing virtual hearings due to the Covid-19, they said.
The minister said that physical classes will not be mandatory. "If parents wish to send their wards they can. Otherwise, the students can continue to attend online classes. Besides, the attendance criteria is not mandatory for the students," she added.