VIJAYAWADA: Amid concerns over the rising number of Covid-19 cases, schools in the State reopened after Sankranthi vacations on Monday.
The attendance in schools was low compared to normal days as it was the first day after vacation, and also parents preferring not to send their wards to schools.
Even as the Opposition TDP, parents and teachers’ associations urged the government to postpone the reopening of schools, Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh tried to allay the fears, saying the decision to continue in-person classes was made considering the future of the students. He urged the parents not to worry about their children’s health.
TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh--who tested positive for coronavirus on Monday--shot off a letter to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, demanding the closure of schools to prevent exposing lakhs of students to the virus.
Stressing the need for strong preventive measures since most school students were yet to be vaccinated, Lokesh urged the government to take all possible steps to prevent the third Covid wave from taking a severe form in the State.
Minister Suresh, however, maintained that opening of schools and the spike in fresh infections were not related.
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He added that online classes were not an alternative to physical classes. “However, online education can be an alternative for higher education that too for special papers, but not for all subjects,” he added.
The minister further said the current academic year would be completed adhering to Covid-19 guidelines.
“Instructions have been given to teachers to focus on completing the syllabus, keeping in view the exams that will be conducted in March and April,’’ he informed.
On students who had tested positive, the minister said it was difficult to ascertain whether they got infected at home or in schools.
So far, 93-95% of students aged between 15 and 18 years have been vaccinated. The current academic year commenced in August 2021, and continued without any interruption for the past 150 days. “So far only 30% of the syllabus has been completed and steps are being taken to complete the vaccination of students below 15 years by February 15,” Suresh said.
On day one, 61% of the students attended the schools. The highest attendance was 70% in Anantapur district, followed by 69% in Kadapa, 68% in Guntur and 67% in Prakasam and Kurnool.
State tightens covid control
Control rooms set up for students and parents
School education: 7833-888-555
Intermediate: 9440-816-026 (10 am - 5 pm)
Temples told to stop distributing ‘annaprasada’
Religious institutions to ensure physical distancing of devotees, wearing of masks and proper sanitation
Curfew from today
Night curfew will be enforced in the State from 11 pm to 5 am till January 31
Medicos test positive
As many as 48 medical students of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Kadapa, tested positive for Covid-19. Separate arrangements have been made for them to write their exams