Classes 8 to 12: Attendance improves to 80% in Pune schools
PUNE Currently, the turnout of students has been satisfactory in the city limits for offline classes for Classes 8 to 12. As per experts, the turnout of students has been at least 80 per cent post-Diwali vacation. After classes started in October this year, initially the attendance was only 30 per cent. Teachers note that students should resume offline education to ensure that there is no learning loss.
On Thursday, state education minister Varsha Gaikwad declared that schools from Class 1 to Class 7 will reopen in urban areas from December 1.
Shubhangi Chavan, deputy education officer for the primary school of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) education department, said that there are no clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) as of yet.
“The directives are likely to come soon. The SOPs for safety norms are likely to remain the same. The temperature will be checked, social distancing has to be followed and a face mask has to be worn compulsorily. The question of capacity is still not clear. As of now, schools are permitted to have 50 per cent occupancy. The detailed order will be released soon by the department,” said Chavan.
Speaking about the occupancy, Harishchandra Gaikwad, president of the Pune District Principals’ Association said that the decision is welcome.
“The decision is important and good for students from all classes. Teachers, schools and students are happy. Classes 8 to 12 should now be allowed with full capacity. So far, the attendance of Class 8 to 12 is also good. After Diwali vacations, the attendance has increased up to 80 per cent,” said Gaikwad.
He added that the attendance has increased as many families are returning from their native villages.
“As a precautionary step, vaccination for children should start soon. Teachers and schools are taking precautionary measures,” said Gaikwad.
Himani Kulkarni, a consultant psychologist at Jupiter Hospital, said that like several other parts of the country, in Maharashtra also Covid-19 cases have not shown a fresh surge.
“Due to the pandemic, schools, especially primary sections, have been suspended since April 2020. Though the digital medium helped school students to continue learning. However, school closure brought in mental health issues among children. Healthcare institutions were also witnessing that some parents came to them with complaints of depression among their kids. There will be considerable improvement when their learning exercise comes back to normal when schools resume as per government directives,” said Kulkarni.
She added that the pandemic is not over yet and all protocols should be followed by schools such as wearing masks, using hand sanitiser, and or mental and overall, well-being of children, parents and teachers are expected to play a very important role in the well-being of children.