Students back in schools as physical classes begin

Most schools recorded 50 % attendance while some in Mysuru saw 75 % turnout on day one

After a long gap, schools and PU colleges in Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar reopened for physical classes, thanks to the sharp drop in COVID-19 cases and the test positivity rate (TPR) in these districts falling below 2 per cent.

A festive mood was noticed in most schools here as their entrances were specially decorated with buntings and festoons to greet the students, who appeared enthusiastic to step into their school premises and meeting their friends after gap of nearly 18 months. Colorful rangolis greeted children in some schools.

Teachers waited at the school gates to welcome them.

The pandemic had kept the students away from schools and online learning had replaced classroom education. The offline classes had been resumed only for Classes 9 and 10, and second PU. The first PU classes were yet to start as admissions are on.

The schools saw attendance ranging from 50 to 75 per cent on day one and the authorities were hoping to see rise in numbers in the coming days as many appeared excited about returning to school.

“We are hopeful of seeing more number of students returning to schools as the first day’s turn-out was encouraging amidst the situation. The children are absolutely overjoyed to be back in their schools,” said Mysuru ZP CEO Yogesh, who visited several schools to cheer them.

Mr. Yogesh, who visited the government high schools at Gungralchatra, Gerasanahalli, Tenkalakoppal, Bilikere, and Doddekoppal, said the schools he visited had complied with the SOPs issued by the government. “The schools were sanitized and the premises looked hygienic. I don’t think there should be any reason for staying away from the schools as all necessary precautions had been taken for the students’s safety,” he said.

The CEO spoke to the youngsters and elicited their views on resuming physical classes. “All of them were very happy. They are aware of the precautions they are supposed to take including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,” he said, adding that teachers were also excited and taken special interest in readying their schools for greeting children.

Krishnaraja MLA S.A. Ramdas visited St. Mary’s School in his constituency and greeted students. He gave pens, masks and chocolates to them in a bid to reinforce their confidence. “I wish the schools function smoothly without any hurdles in the days ahead as they are being reopened after many months,” he said.

Nearly 85,125 students are studying in Class 9 and Class 10 this year in Mysuru. They include 30,685 in government schools, 32,531 in unaided, 17,394 in aided, 639 in Kendriya Vidyalaya, 777 in the Social Welfare Department schools, and 158 in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya.

In Mandya, Minister in charge of the district K.C. Narayana Gowda visited the government school at Police Colony and greeted studetns. He wished them well while distributing masks, chocolates and sanitizers.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Gowda said the schools and PU colleges have taken all necessary precautions and following all guidelines issued by the government.

Parents’ consent is a must for their children to attend offline classes, he said, adding that the deputy commissioner and the ZP CEO had visited schools and checked the preparations done for the reopening.

Deputy Commissioner S. Aswathi, who visited a few schools, told the students to wear mask and maintain social distance. She told teachers at Hebbakkawadi village to spread awareness about COVID-19 and precautions the children are supposed to take while they are in school. The schools had been asked to ensure basic facilities besides maintaining proper hygiene on the premises.

Chamarajnagar Deputy Commissioner M.R. Ravi visited the government boy’s PU College in Chamarajanagar and checked the preparations done for resuming classes.

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