43% attendance registered as schools open for Classes X-XII

Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, August 2

After almost four months, the schools opened for Classes X to XII in all districts, except Lahaul and Spiti, with a lukewarm response from parents as only 43 per cent students were in attendance on the first day.

The highest turnout was in Hamirpur district at 65 per cent, followed by Bilaspur at 53 per cent, Sirmaur 46 per cent, Kangra and Solan 45 per cent each, Kullu 44 per cent, Una 41 per cent, Shimla 40 per cent, Chamba 25 per cent and Mandi 23 per cent. Data from Kinnaur was not available and in Lahaul amp; Spiti, schools have been closed till August 9 due to heavy damage by rain.

A large section of parents was apprehensive about sending their wards to schools as the Covid graph reflected a rising trend with 134 new cases coming to the fore on Sunday (August 1). Only students, who had doubts and queries about the lessons taught online, visited schools for guidance and clarification.

Those who attended school were excited. "We have been attending online classes from home for a very long time. Coming back to school and having physical interactions with teachers and friends is refreshing," said Neha, a student of Class XI.

Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Syri, Vijay Goswami said, "We got to know about hidden talents of our students during the lockdown period as they shared their knowledge about fields like horticulture and agriculture in online classes."

"Online classes are still underway and the attendance has been kept optional so that there is no compulsion to attend the school in case parents and students have apprehensions due to the pandemic," said Director, Higher Education, Amarjeet Sharma. He said there are over 3.5 lakh students, including about 2.15 in government schools, studying in Classes X to XII.

Precautions like sanitisation of classrooms, thermal scanning, staggering of students while coming and leaving the schools, alternate sitting arrangements and adherence to appropriate Covid behaviour, were taken today, claimed the authorities of various schools. The students were asked not to share books and stationary and avoid physical contact with each other.

Private schools had asked students, planning to attend school to clear doubts, to come with parent's consent in writing and inform the teachers a day before.

Only 50 per cent of the students were allowed, so the number of students attending classes in private schools was less than that of government schools.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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