Published: 21st September 2020
Andhra Pradesh: Class 9 and 10 students can now go to school to get doubts cleared
Those who cannot go to school due to the guidelines may continue to have conversations over a phone or video calls
The stage is set for schools to partially reopen on Monday for students of Classes 9 and 10, after six months and lapsing of almost half the academic year. The students will be allowed to visit their teachers in school if they have consent from their parents or guardians.
“Students who have doubts regarding subjects or lessons taught online may visit the school and get their doubts cleared in person by their teachers,” said Krishna District Education Officer Rajalakshmi. However, students and teachers from containment zones won’t be allowed to visit schools.
“Private schools have already been conducting online classes, while lessons are telecast through Saptagiri and other media for students in government schools. No matter how hard we try to make students follow the rules, there is a high risk in conducting regular classes, so only doubt-clearing sessions will be allowed,” said an official of the education department.
All teachers will be available during school hours. Those who cannot go to school due to the guidelines may continue to have conversations over phone or video calls.
While students expressed happiness that schools would partially be reopened, parents are worried and confused. “We are equally concerned about our children’s health and education. One of my sons is in Class 10 and another is in Class 12. Both are crucial years. We will let them go to school to get doubts cleared, but definitely not at the cost of their health. With the guidelines and measures in place at the school, we have some confidence that they can go at least once a week,” said Janaki Singh, a parent.
Her son Preet Singh said, “We will be more than happy to go to school. We understand the risk, but are missing our school days. Also, since students of Class 9 and 10 are mature enough to understand the importance of following the rules, I think it won’t be that difficult for the teachers to handle us. This will not just help us clear our doubts but also allow us to meet our friends whom we haven’t met since the lockdown,” he opined. Meanwhile, schools are trying to come up with ways to ensure the Covid-19 protocol is followed.
All schools have been directed to provide sanitiser, check the temperature of those entering the premises, have an isolation room ready for those who fall sick, ensure students and teachers wear masks, and everyone has the AarogyaSetu app. “It is good that the academic year is slowly getting back on track. There are risks and we are worried about sending our children to school, especially when there are so many Covid-19 cases in the state. But I think sending them once a week for a few hours won’t be a problem. I will take my son to school only if his doubts cannot be cleared over video or normal call. I suggest that all parents who let their children visit their teachers in person, go with them. The kids will meet their friends after a long time, and may unintentionally forget the protocol while interacting,” said V Mrudula, a parent.
“Each teacher will be given a separate classroom. None of the students will be allowed in the staff room. Though the capacity of our classrooms is 65-70 students, we will let only 10-15 in at a time. Since we have two gates, one will be for entry and the other for exit. We will instruct students to sit on alternate benches. Doubts will be solved with no physical contact between students and teachers. Teachers have been told not to write anything on students’ books,” said the principal of a private school in Vijayawada.
Meanwhile, RTE state convenor Prof Narava Prakasa Rao said the government should boost the morale of parents. “The government should promise to ensure students’ safety. Classes should be staggered and not more than 15 students should be allowed in a class at a time, and that too for not more than three hours. This apart, as several schools were used as testing centres and COVID Care Centres, the premises should be disinfected thoroughly. All students of Classes 9-12 should not be allowed to go to school together, but it should be a gradual process.”
Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam DEO B Lingeswar Reddy said teachers will be available for students to clear their doubts as long as they get their parents’ consent. Online classes will be conducted as usual.