KURNOOL: Students had a surprise when they attended their respective schools after a long gap. They were amazed to see that the schools sported a new-look and boasted of improved amenities like drinking water, toilets, audiovisual equipment, compound walls, and green chalkboards.
The face-lift was given under the Manabadi- Nadu Nedu scheme.
District education officer Sai Ram said that on the first day of reopening, 35 per cent of 7,16,000 students reported while it touched 70 per cent in a couple of days. The teachers’ attendance stood at an envious 92 per cent.
But students are finding it difficult to acclimatize to the new environment of learning amid Covid protocols.
"Wearing a mask and sitting in the classroom is not easy", said Soujanya, a class VIII student. Giggling and whispers are a thing of the past, she bemoaned.
Andhra Pradesh Samagra Shiksha district additional project coordinator (APC) K. Venu Gopal said school assemblies have been dispensed with as were group lunches, dancing, and sports.
Mathrusri, another student, said that her first-week experience in the school was "both frightening and exciting. Excited because I am seeing my friends after two years and frightening because of Covid. We are chatting with our mouths and noses closed. It is only eye contact for now. It is funny."
Another student said “we are learning the art of recognizing friends with masks on from a distance. We used to play hide and seek earlier but now before we sit in the class, we try to identify masked students and note the colours of masks."
ACP Venugopal said that out of 1044 schools under Nadu-Nedu project, 942 schools have been completed and 10 have been given to parent committees, He said that they were waiting for a revolving fund of Rs 5 crore.
The DEO said that government schools were attracting new students after they were renovated and because of colorful paintings and modern facilities that have been put in place. Around 948 of 1044 schools are to be provided new facilities initially.