School Reopening: No mechanism for cleaning of long-closed classrooms

Plea to grant Rs 5,000 per school for cleanup operation after the longest-ever closure and resultant gathering of dust

Khammam: While the government plans to reopen schools from February 1, headmasters are faced with two urgent issues.

One is of cleaning the classrooms. The piling up of dust in the rooms is too heavy. “Who will clean the classrooms,” ask headmasters. There are no sweepers and night watchmen for these schools. This is for the first time in history that schools remained closed for ten months. The government did not give salary to these staff after the closure.

Teachers said some of the benches and chairs were having the presence of pests and fungus, and many chairs have turned unusable. Involving the students in the cleanup operation, as was done on occasions in the past, is not permissible after the introduction of the Right to Education Act.

School teachers federation state president Devarakonda Saidulu said there was massive pile-up of dust in the classrooms and it took at least five days to clean them. He demanded that the government sanction Rs 5,000 immediately for the cleanup operation. “Some teachers are cleaning their schools on their own. It’s a stupendous task,” he said.

Secondly, the rice stocks meant for the Mid-day Meal Scheme have been piled up in school kitchens. They are rotten by now and germs and micro-organism are visible in the rice packs. Some headmasters concluded that it can be used only as fodder. There are three to five quintals of rice in every school and who would take a decision on their fate, a headmaster asked.

N. Bhaskar, a teacher in Konigerla mandal, suggested that the government should take a decision on these two issues before opening the schools.

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