Gurugram: Govt schools open partially for all, virus scare remainsUpdated: Oct 15, 2020, 23:21 IST
Government schools in Gurugram reopened for regular sessions of all class 9 to 12 students on Thursday, more than seven months after being shut owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and close to a month after the government allowed partial reopening of schools for students of Class 9 and Class 12 on a voluntary basis to seek guidance from teachers.
On Thursday, a few big government schools witnessed an uptick in the number of students coming to attend classes. The footfall at the smaller schools, however, remained negligible.
Government Model Senior Secondary School in sector 4/7 saw more than 250 students turning up for their classes on Thursday, of the at least 1,600 who are enrolled in classes 9 to 12. “From September 21,after the guidance classes had commenced, over 150 students were visiting the school every day anyway. Today (on Thursday) from 9am, many students arrived. Some of them came had come along with their parents to just see the arrangements in the classroom,” said Suman Sharma, school principal.
Before entering their respective classes, students were made to stand in a queue within circles drawn at the entrance to ensure physical distancing. Their name, section and body temperature were noted. Also, they were asked to apply sanitiser. Even inside the classrooms, the students were made to sit on alternate benches, told to maintain physical distance of two feet from each other always and wear masks.
Kavita Sapra, English teacher at the sector 4/7 school said that subject-wise classes have been scheduled. “Students were informed about the classes on Whatsapp group. Some were asked to visit the school compulsorily, while many others came on their own,” said Sapra, adding that a proper roster will be prepared once regular classes start for all students.
Presently, teachers are asking students to come in slots as per their roll numbers. A teacher will teach the same topic daily, for a week, till all the students have caught up, Sharma said. “These classes are not webcast, neither will they be videographed. We will first cover topics which have been specifically highlighted by students on Whatsapp groups ,” said Sharma.
As reported by HT on October 13, the state education minister Kanwar Pal and senior officials had said that schools will be reopening for regular classes for students of 9 to 12 from October 15. Classes were to be held for three hours, from 9 am till noon. Pal had also said that not more than 20 students will be accommodated in a single classroom. Also, no consent letter from parents for students attending such classes will be required.
Sapra, however, said that they are still taking consent letters.
Likewise, government senior secondary school for boys, near old Civil Hospital, also witnessed an increased footfall of students. Geeta Arya, principal of the school said that every day nearly 50 students from class 9 to 12 used to turn up for guidance classes till now. On Thursday, the number shot up to 163.
“Parents are calling teachers to enquire about the reopening of schools. Since there has been no official notification till now, we are continuing with the guidance class schedule. Our aim is to ensure that a student attends school at least twice a week,” said Arya. According to her, a student is to attend at least three guidance classes, 45 minutes each, where they come with their queries related to the subject.
In Arya’s school, the student strength from class 9 to 12 is at least 1076, out of which 183 students are in class 10 and 243 in class 12. She said that since admission in government schools has increased this year, chalking out a plan for conducting classes for all subjects while ensuring physical distancing norm would be a task.
“Everyone cannot be called in one go. Admissions for class 9 to 12 has spiked this year. So, to ensure every student attends school while accommodating only 20 student per classroom will be difficult,” said Arya. At least 196 students from private schools have taken admission in the all-boys school this year so far in classes 9 to 12.
Others schools in Jacobpura and Islampur saw a more tepid response. In Jacobpura, government school for girls received a footfall of only 30 students, out of the 1456 students in class 9 to 12. “We did not ask students to visit as there has been no official instructions by the state government on the same. The parents are even reluctant to send their girls,” said Sunil Kumar, principal of Jacobpura school. Likewise, in Islampur school only 27 students turned up, according to the school principal Raj Kumar.
District education officer Indu Boken, she was unavailable for the comment on the issue.