Low turnout amid Covid concern as colleges reopen in Punjab


Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Amritsar, January 7

With the state government deciding to open schools for Class V and above from Thursday, parents seem still in dilemma over sending their wards to the schools amid coronavirus pandemic.   

While the government has issued guidelines to be followed by the schools, no social distancing was being maintained at the schools in Ludhiana and most of the students were seen without masks.

The attendance remained thin as parents are still reluctant to send their wards to schools.

Headmasters/school in-charge were seen asking parents to fill the consent forms as prescribed by the government.

A parent outside Government High School, Haibowal Kalan, Ludhiana, said that she was still “confused whether to send her daughter to attend classes or not as the school was not willing to take any responsibility if anything happens to the child”.

Moreover, just two months are left for the session to get over, so she would prefer to wait till the new session began, she said.

At Government Primary School, Haibowal, Ludhiana, out of 120 students enrolled in Class V, only 10-12 students attended the school.

A majority of students were not wearing masks and when asked about it, they said they did not have it.

Low turnout in Amritsar

Meanwhile, a low turnout of students was witnessed across the schools in Amritsar.

The government schools across the district saw a handful of students from Classes V and VI coming to school after the gap of 10 months.

Less than 1% students attended schools on day 1, even as  school authorities had made arrangements in accordance with the SOPs issued by government regarding health safety.

“We had informed the students and parents regarding the reopening last evening through voice messages and we are also calling parents for a parent-teacher meet today and tomorrow to inform them about the safety measures being implemented at schools,” said Suresh Kumar, Principal, Government Elementary School, Mall road, Amritsar.

“We had dismal turnout today but we are hoping that in coming days students will start coming in,” Kumar added.

Classes were held till 2 pm and 10-12 students were seated in every classroom ensuring social distancing.

While the senior classes – Class IX onwards – have been going on since October 15, private schools were seen waiting for parental consent before calling students to school.

Dr Anita Bhalla, secretary of Sahodaya Schools, in Amritsar said that thorough planning would be done before the school opens for middle classes.

“We will consult everyone to make time table, sitting plans in classrooms with social distance… and a meeting in this regard had been called today. Parental consent will be important, only then the school management will be able to call in students.”

Preparations on behalf of the schools are complete. At the same time, there has been confusion among parents as they are worried about the new strain of Covid-19.

 



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