Ludhiana schools record 10% attendance on Day 1 of reopening
Ten months since the Covid-19 outbreak, schools reopened to thin attendance in Ludhiana on Thursday amid confusion among school heads over the requirement of written consent from parents.
A majority of schools had only sent messages to parents to send their wards, but when the children arrived on Thursday, they were asked to submit the written consent from their parents. Government school authorities said the thin attendance at most schools was also due to the parent-teacher meeting scheduled for Thursday during which few students turn up in any case.
Barely 10% students attended the regular classes in Ludhiana with the authorities saying many parents were hesitant to send their wards, fearing they may contract the infection.
At the Government Primary School, Model Gram, only seven of the 45 students of Class 5 came to school. The students were accommodated while maintaining social distancing in classrooms. Jyoti Arora, an elementary training teacher at the school, said, “Parents have been informed to send their children with written consent. We expect more students to attend classes from Monday.” The situation was similar in almost all schools of the district.
Twenty of the 130 students of Class 5 at Government Primary School, Haibowal Kalan, attended classes on Thursday. School head Shivani Sood said, “Today’s parent-teacher meeting was aimed at motivating the parents. We are hopeful they will give their consent in the days to come.”
At Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Model Gram, which is a government-aided facility, 57 students of Classes 6 to 8 attended the classes physically. The school has 121 students enrolled in these classes.
Entry was allowed from the main gate of the school and circles were drawn to ensure social distancing . Staff were deployed for thermal screening of each student.
At least nine students were accommodated in one classroom to maintain a distance of 2 metres.
Ludhiana DEO, (elementary-cum-secondary) Rajinder Kaur said, “We got an overwhelming response at the PTMs. The attendance in primary and middle schools will improve in the next few days. Parents are willing to send their children as only two months are left for the final exams.”
Students, parents give mask the go-by
Many students and parents reached the schools to attend PTM while ignoring the basic safety protocols, including social distancing and wearing masks, despite the guidelines.
At many government primary schools, textbooks were also handed over to parents.
Sharing his joy, Vishal, a Class-7 student, said, “I missed the classroom teaching and am glad to be back. I will be able to concentrate better on my studies now.”
A grand welcome
The government schools in the rural areas, meanwhile, made special arrangements to welcome the students of Class 5. At Jandali school, the authorities rolled out a red carpet at entry gate and staff showered flower petals to welcome Class-5 students.