Hyderabad: One student on one bench and 20 children in the classroom with no common recess is the manner in which schools and colleges are to operate from September 1.
These instructions have been given orally but no written communication has been sent out by the government to schools for handling of children, maintaining cleanliness and bathroom etiquette.
The state has 60,000 educational institutions — about 35,000 government schools, 12,000 private schools, 712 residential schools, 400 government junior colleges and 1,500 private junior colleges — employing some 4.5 lakh employees of whom 88 per cent are said to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The number of school bus, van and autorickshaw drivers and support staff like ayahs and their vaccination status is not known
A senior government education officer on condition of anonymity said, "We have been instructed to ask the government school/college employees to clean the classrooms, premises and buildings and keep them ready for students. We are only following those right now."
Reports from the districts say that teachers, lecturers and principals are cleaning the classrooms and premises as the government has not allotted them extra budget for the purpose.
Government schools do not have thermometers and oximeters to find out if staff or children are having symptoms, and facilities for them till they are shifted home or to the hospital.
Private schools will be checking student and staff temperatures every day and protocols have been chalked out to inform the government if anyone is infected or is suffering from fever, cough or cold.
Many private schools and colleges said they would call students from Classes 8 to 12 to school from September 1. Students in junior colleges will be called from September 10.
The principal of a private group of schools in the city said, "In our internal survey 90 per cent of the parents said they do not want to send children to school. They want to continue with online classes. But, due to pressure from the government, we cannot continue online classes from September 1 for senior students. They have been asked to come to school."
Dr Syed Shafiuddin Aijaz of a budget school said, "The parents’ mindset is to not send children to school. They feel that the managements are opening schools so that they can collect fees. This is false, most budget schools will see a higher attrition rate due to this move."
Many budget and private schools expect to see children dropping out as their parents are unable to pay the fee....