The tension prevailing in Amritsar and other parts of the state for past few days has adversely affected the studies of school students. The lack of transportation, which has come to stand still due to bandhs and fear among the parents due the hostile situation prevailing all around, especially in the holy city, have forced the students to stay at home.
On Monday when Amritsar witnessed a complete bandh, the private schools remained closed while the government schools kept awaiting the orders of the state government in this regard, even as staff and students who managed to reach their respective schools complained of facing inconvenience.
However, taking safety of the students into consideration, Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat has already taken up the matter with Punjab education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and has assured to again remind the education authorities in Chandigarh about the volatile situation, which has put the safety of children on stake.
Meanwhile, district education officer DEO (SE) Satinder Bir Singh informed, “Government schools in Amritsar district observed 70 % attendance of school heads and teachers, while the attendance of students was very thin. It is practically impossible for parents to send their children to schools in this tense situation. Neither can we expect teachers coming from far off areas to make it to their schools in time. With majority of government schools facing the problem, I have approached the deputy commissioner to give orders to shut down the schools for a few days and he has assured me to take up the matter with higher authorities.”
Mandeep Kaur, school head of GGSS School, Mall Road, feels, “Punjab has seen the worst of times and is again going through a lot of unrest. We appeal to the state government to at least look into the security our students and announce the schools to be closed till the situation gets normal. Even today there was just 5 % attendance in my school.”
Sukhjinder Singh, a teacher of Central Jail Government School, informed, “Our school has majority students from deprived families who do not even have private vehicles to drop them and neither do they have any source of communication to inform their parents of their well being. Worried parents came during the school hours and took their children back. Then there are teachers in our school who come from far off places like Rayya , Beas. They informed that it’s taking them hours to make it to the school.”
Meanwhile, in few government schools, including that Meerakot Kalan, faced a forced shut down as mobs entered and asked the teachers to send the students back home.
Apprehending inconvenience and untoward incidents, heads of private schools in the city took a call to keep their institutions closed. Sangeeta Singh principal, Delhi Public School (DPS) said, “My school will reopen on October 23 and that too if the situation improves. What a loss it has been for the children. December pre-boards are also approaching and we have planned to keep our school open on Saturday and Sunday to cover up the studies. Now, it’s time for the government to take charge.”
Meanwhile, DAV Public School and Senior Study II had closed their school for a day and the classes would resume unless there is a bandh call.
Appealing the state government to punish the culprits involved in the sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, president of Khalsa Diwan schools, Charanjit Singh Chadha, said, “Around 20,000 students are studying in CKD schools in Amritsar and Tarn Taran and their security is important. Thus we shut down the schools today. Tomorrow we would have a meeting and pray for peace and harmony of the state.”