Telangana: Only 45% of students attended school on first day of reopening

Hyderabad: Over ten months after COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown in March last year, schools across Telangana reopened on Monday and physical classes for students of class 9 and 10 resumed. The attendance, however, was less than 50 per cent, the education department said.

According to the official bulletin released by the directorate of school education, only 45 percent students attended from class IX, X, Intermediate first and second years. Of the total 9,59,914 enrollments, 4,43,507 regular students attended schools and junior colleges.

The state education department said that in 4,668 government and local body schools- 48 percent attended out of 3,83,858 students enrolled in Class IX and X; of the 194 Model schools- 44 percent attended out of 3,8,348 students; of the 452 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBVs) – 7 per cent attended out of 3,5,483 students; of the 289 Telangana Residential Educational Institutions Society- 10 per cent attended out of 3,5,372 students and of the 6,373 Private Schools- 55 per cent attended out of 3,99,764 students.

The state council of education, research and training (SCERT) in Telangana issues guidelines in four categories, in relation to sanitation, logistics, medical and study. The guidelines state that the parents of students need to submit written consent before entering into the school premises.

Students were excited to back to school after meeting their classmates and teachers after 10 months gap. S. Anitha, principal of a social welfare school in Vikarabad, said: “Of the 150 students that were enrolled in both the classes in our school, 26 were present on the first day. Extensive sanitation was taken up by the gram panchyat before the students started coming from Sunday evening. We set up a mechanism to conduct thermal screening daily and are keeping hand-washing stations and sanitation facilities handy for the students. Physical distancing is ensured as per the SCERT rules.”

The social welfare residential educational institutions society registered the lowest turnout of all the different types of schools, with only 11 per cent of the total enrolled students in attendance, reports said. “We are sure that the number will pick up,” said Anitha.

Minu Salooja, assistant director of Glendale Academy said the response among parents was picking up and several have consented to sit for physical exams. She added that it is likely that in the coming weeks, more students will come to school considering the positive response on the first day.