BHUBANESWAR: SOCIAL distancing and other Covid-19 safety norms were thrown to the wind on the first day of Plus II admission on Monday, with admission halls in higher secondary schools across the State Capital chock-a-block with students and their guardians.
The Directorate of Higher Secondary Education (DHSE) had asked all the schools to follow Covid-19 guidelines issued by the State Government strictly during the admission process and allow only 15 students every hour for document verification and other formalities. Besides, school authorities were asked to allow only one parent or guardian to accompany each student to the hall. However, the admission scene was chaotic at most of the institutions which were brimming with people.
A glaring example was the Ramadevi Higher Secondary School where the admission hall had administrative staff, students and their parents with little respect for physical distancing. Here, admission was also carried out for the Plus III first year students on the day.
At Maharishi Higher Secondary School, there was little space for students and their guardians to maintain safe distance of even one metre. “Though everyone had put on a mask, no one was following social distancing guidelines,” said Snigdha, a student who visited Maharishi campus for admission.
DHSE Director Brundaban Behera said though there is no provision of penalty for violation of Covid-19 guidelines during admission, the school principals have been instructed to ensure strict adherence of the norms for the safety of students, parents and staff.
“To avoid crowding, schools have been asked to carry out admission process in shifts - from 9 am to 1 pm in the first shift and 1.30 to 5 pm in the second shift,” Behera said and added, “The school authorities will be asked to follow the guidelines strictly failing which appropriate action will be initiated by the Government.”
The admission of students in the first selection will take place till September 26 after which merit list for second selection will be published by the DHSE on October 3 and admission of selected students would be done between October 5 and 7. The merit list for spot selection will be published on October 13 and admission would conclude by October 17.
Admission is being carried out in 2,028 higher secondary schools across the State. Around 3.83 lakh students applied online for admission into different streams of Plus II in the 2020-21 academic session.