Low turnout as schools reopen in Rajasthan and UP
The government and private schools were reopened for Class IX to Class XII in Rajasthan on Wednesday after being shut for over four months following a spike in cases in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to guidelines issued by the education department, classes with only 50% strength are allowed at a time with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Online classes are also being held simultaneously
The turnout, however, was not high on the first day as online classes are also being held simultaneously. Many students came to schools accompanied by their parents, some of whom were seen enquiring about the arrangements for the safety of their children.
We have asked students to follow all COVID-19 protocols: Principal
Sumita Minhas, Principal of Podar World School, Jaipur, told PTI, "The number of students who came on the first day was almost half of the permissible number, but those who came were cheerful and excited." "We have asked them to not be overexcited and follow all COVID-19 protocols in view of their own safety," she added.
Parents were apprised regarding protocols; their written consent was taken
She said parents were apprised of protocols on sanitization, seating arrangements, and other guidelines in advance, and their written consent was taken. Meanwhile, Hemraj Sharma, a government school Sanskrit teacher in Thikariya, Ajmer Road, said that all preparations were made before the school was opened.
Yoga activities have been planned for students: Teacher
Notably, another teacher of the school, Sheetal Kumari, said, "Online classes, will continue even though schools are opened. Yoga activities for a few minutes have been planned in classrooms for students." Meanwhile, according to the standard operating procedure, the department has kept separate timings for the arrival and departure of students of different classes so that there is no large gathering at one time.
Primary classes began in UP with little attendance
Meanwhile, students of Class I to Class V in Uttar Pradesh also returned to schools when primary schools across UP reopened on Wednesday after being closed since the imposition of the first lockdown last year due to COVID-19 in the country. Physical classes for standards IX to XII and VI to VII started from August 16 and August 24, respectively.
Classes started in two shifts of three hours
However, despite receding COVID-19 cases, attendance was found to be very low in some of the schools. Classes started in two shifts of three hours -- from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm -- with 50% of the students of a class in each shift. Meanwhile, some schools decorated entry gates with balloons to welcome the returning students.
Teachers are requested to take care of students: Adityanath
Notably, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath tweeted, "Best wishes to students. The schools are reopening from today. All teachers are requested to take care of students and follow COVID-19 protocol."