Telangana: Tepid response to reopening of schools

Telangana: Tepid response to reopening of schools
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Telangana: Tepid response to reopening of schools 

Highlights

With trepidation and some excitement too, thousands of students returned to their classrooms to face a new Covid reality of masks and socially distanced camaraderie as schools in the State reopened on Wednesday.

Hyderabad: With trepidation and some excitement too, thousands of students returned to their classrooms to face a new Covid reality of masks and socially distanced camaraderie as schools in the State reopened on Wednesday.

Fifty per cent attendance, no shared tiffin or even stationery were some of the dos and don'ts. Still the response in Telangana was lukewarm. A majority of the parents are preferring a hybrid online-offline format. While most private schools remained closed, student attendance in government primary schools was a mere single digit, not more than 28 per cent of the total strength.

A visit to some schools in the State by The Hans India revealed that in government institutions, the authorities struggled hard to implement Covid safety norms. They tried to provide adequate sanitisers, fresh masks and the staff to maintain cleanliness on the premises.

The officials of the State Education department said thermal screening equipment were also not provided in a majority of government schools on day one. It was said that the local authorities were yet to supply the required material. Toilets were maintained clean, but no sanitization staff was available for entire day in these schools. Ensuring that children wear fresh masks every day and wash them regularly is the biggest challenge as most of them are poor and cannot afford to have at least two or three masks so that they can wash it every day and use. Officials said that the Health department has been requested to supply quality masks to the schools. In Medchal-Malkajgiri district, children were found mingling during lunchbreak. It is said that no screening of students took place before they could enter the school. Some of them had removed their masks and even hand sanitisers were not available.

State Education Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy said students should be told specifically during morning prayers about the need to follow Covid norms.

Teachers and other staff should also take precautions at the time of mid-day meals. Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday emphasised the need for creating safe schooling conditions for children at schools during the pandemic. Professional colleges witnessed around 30 per cent attendance. Government Junior Colleges resumed classes with low attendance while majority of the private institutions continued with online classes.

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