Schools in Pune district reopen with lukewarm response
Pune: Schools in some rural areas of Pune district reopened on Monday (November 23) after a long gap of eight months due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, the lukewarm response on the first day of schools reopening has emphasized once again that parents and children are still skeptical about attending classes physically due to the fear of a second wave of coronavirus infections.
The state government has allowed students of class 9 to 12 to attend classes physically in school premises from November 23. In all 22 districts have allowed schools in their jurisdiction to reopen for classes. In Pune district, schools excluding the Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad city jurisdiction have been allowed to reopen. However, only those schools have reopened in which Covid-19 tests of all teachers have been conducted.
There are about two thousand secondary and higher secondary schools in the district. In these schools, there are about six lakh school students who are studying in classes 9 to 12. Some parents were so conscious that they waited outside the school premises while their children were studying in the classrooms inside.
Dr Ganpat More, Education Officer of Pune Zilla Parishad said, “There are 11500 teachers and non-teaching staff in Pune district. We have conducted Covid-19 tests for about 4700 of these teaching and non-teaching staff. Of these, only 13 were found to be Covid positive. These patients were asymptomatic. More than 45 per cent staff has been tested so far and this process will be completed at the earliest.”
Dilip Pawar, Head Master of Vidya Vikas Mandir School in Shirur tehsil said, “We have sanitised and maintained hygiene in the school premises as mandated by the state government. Covid tests of 10 per cent staff have been completed so far and hence we were unable to reopen the school on day one.”
Some schools which reopened on day one have taken several measures to maintain social distancing between students. One of the schools has decided to allow male students on one day while female students on the other day to keep the count less and avoid crowding in classrooms. Some schools have implemented an odd-even roll number formula for attendance of students.