Published: 30th November 2021
Teachers, students of this B'luru school live in fear of COVID as school premises turn into testing centres
When contacted, Dr R Vishal, Commissioner for Department of Public Instruction, assured that he will direct concerned officials to ensure the safety of the students
Every day, children studying at the Government Higher Primary School in Bengaluru's Siddapura area are greeted by strangers standing in long queues on two sides of their school premises — one queue for people taking the COVID vaccine and another queue for those taking a COVID test. With COVID positive cases on a slow rise again — especially in schools and colleges of the state — parents, children and even teachers are anxious as hundreds visit this school every day.
The school houses nearly 120 students from Classes I to VIII with 5 teachers in total. The school premises, which is over 1 acre, has sufficient space to play. The left side of the school has a temporary structure that is used as a COVID vaccination area. Just next to that is a small Primary Health Centre and then there are small buildings where classes are held and daily midday meals are served. On the extreme right of the school, there are toilets and next to them is another temporary shed and this one is for COVID testing, making it a vulnerable zone for children and teachers.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, a resident of Siddapura and a member of the School Development Monitoring Committee, Raveendra said that COVID testing has been happening on the school premises for more than a year now. "There were no classes conducted earlier because of the lockdown. Testing was done and swabs of people were collected there. We did not have an issue as there were no children. But now classes have resumed and the situation is not good," Raveendra said.
Another local resident, Shrinivasiah, said that it is not right to overcrowd the school premises as there are over a hundred children between the ages of 6 and 14, studying at the school. Most of the children, who study at this school, come from families where parents work as domestic helpers, construction workers and daily-wage labourers.
When contacted, Dr R Vishal, Commissioner for Department of Public Instruction, said, "I will direct concerned officials to ensure the safety of the students.''T