A sense of disquiet prevails among parents who do not look forward to sending their wards to physical classes yet despite a drop in active coronavirus in the recent weeks. Many of them are still apprehensive about schools getting reopened. In the past, some of the students who attended schools in Vizianagaram and Guntur were tested positive for Covid-19.
In Nellore which has around 3,300 schools, the main problem is of budget. The Education department is not taking up any specific measures to contain the spread of corona virus. Officials say that they are insisting that the headmasters and Mandal-level officials take up the responsibility of sanitisation and implementing other Standard Operative Procedures (SOPs).
But the school authorities say that they have no funds and all that they could do was use bleaching powder for sanitisation of premises and provide water to students for washing hands. The situation in other districts like Vizag, twin Godavari districts, Krishna and Guntur is also no different.
Though officials have taken up screening the students for Covid-19 symptoms, the work has been going on at a slow pace. In Nellore alone, seven mandals have been covered. They say it may not be possible for conducting tests for all children and their parents as part of preventive measures. Still, they are taking the support of local health staff for any information of infected parents and isolating their children attending the schools.
District Educational Officer P Ramesh said they don’t have a budget for purchasing thermal scans and arranging branded sanitizers. “We are asking the heads of the schools to insist the students certainly wear facemasks and maintain social distancing in the school premises. Reports from other districts also say that most schools are not in a position to provide thermal scanning guns.
The Education department has asked the Mandal level officials to be vigilant on the situation and report any unexpected situations.
Official sources say that though junior colleges are also set to open and has asked students to register for admissions, the response has been lukewarm. Only a few of the SSC passed have been registering online for admission into junior colleges.
For example in Nellore, around 10,000 students registered their names till now and very few preferred ITI and polytechnic courses. The rest of the students are not showing interest to join college and attend classes physically. The deadline for admissions into the junior colleges is November 6.