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Home / Cities / Ignoring social distancing norms, 150 parents gather at govt school in Ludhiana to collect books

Ignoring social distancing norms, 150 parents gather at govt school in Ludhiana to collect books

DEO issues notice to school headmistress asking reason for negligence

cities Updated: May 23, 2020 05:12 IST
Deepa Sharma Sood
Deepa Sharma Sood
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Parents and students gather at Government High School, Kailash Nagar, to collect textbooks on Friday.
Parents and students gather at Government High School, Kailash Nagar, to collect textbooks on Friday.(ht photo)

Flouting social distancing rules, over 150 parents and their wards gathered at Government High School, Kailash Nagar, to collect textbooks for the new academic session.

After a video, showing parents jostling against each other, started circulating on social media, district education officer (DEO-secondary) Swaranjit Kaur issued a notice to the school headmistress, asking reason for the negligence.

School headmistress Balwinder Kaur said, “We had sent a message in the WhatsApp groups of Classes 8 to 10, asking students to collect the books in time slots assigned as per their roll number. But a large number of parents gathered in the school with their wards. Despite repeated requests to maintain social distancing, nobody listened to us. Due to the hot weather and space constraints in the school, the parents were in a hurry to get the textbooks.”

The school headmistress had to call the police to control the situation as parents were not listening to them. After cops reached the campus at 11am, parents and their wards were asked to stand in a queue, at a distance of one metre from each other.

“I apologise for our mistake as we should have asked a single class to come and collect the books. We started the book-distribution process on Thursday. Students, who had failed to collect the books yesterday, also reached the school today (on Friday). As the school has an area of 362 square yards, we have no extra space to handle such a large crowd,” she said.

“Also, on the same day, a lot of parents turned up to enrol their children in different classes. We told them to call us as the school had been opened just to distribute books. New admissions can be conducted online,” she added.

A teacher at the school, requesting anonymity, said, “We had received four textbooks for Class 8, seven for Class 9 and one for Class 10 from the block office and were asked to distribute them at the earliest. Moreover, we have to send the details to the nodal officer of the Mangat 2 block regarding the number of books received and distributed. Though we requested the parents to maintain social distancing, nobody bothered to follow the directions.”

DEO Swaranjit Kaur said, “We have asked the schools to hand over the new textbooks class-wise and upload the report daily on the web portal. Instead of asking students of one class to come and collect the books, the school authorities called children of three classes. The school authorities must have prepared a proper schedule to distribute the textbooks, but in a hurry, they violated the social distancing norms.”

ht epaper

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