BHUBANESWAR: With schools reopening partially for Class X and XII from Friday, members of Odisha Parents’ Federation on Monday demanded that the government must take responsibility of safety of students on school premises instead of taking undertaking from parents and guardians. In the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued for schools, the government has set a pre-condition that the students would attend classes only with the written consent of their parents. Use of mask and hand sanitiser has been made mandatory in schools.
The association said many parents who are not economically sound will not be able to afford mask and hand sanitiser to their kids on a regular basis. The government must distribute it to students free of cost and also ensure complete sanitisation of campus and classrooms prior to commencement of classes daily.
Federation chairman Basudev Bhatt pointed out that in many government schools, teachers are assigned other duties. “In such situation, it would be difficult for them to complete the syllabus within 100 days. The field staff of Health department must be roped in for ensuring sanitisation, hygiene and campus inspection”, he said. “The government must ensure safety measures on mission mode to prevent possible spread of the virus on campuses and ensure zero-case,” said association co-chairperson Prasanna Bisoi. “If the government will not take the responsibility who else will?,” he asked.
Parents have also demanded similar measures in schools hostels that have also been allowed to reopen for Class X and XII students from January 8. As hostels under School and Mass Education and ST/SC development departments have been allowed to reopen, adequate staff should be mobilised for proper implementation of Covid safety guidelines in hostels and its monitoring, they said.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Odisha Public Schools on Monday urged the government to allow physical classes for students of Class IX and XI from January 14. “If Class X students can attend the classes in physical mode, why can’t the XI students. We have requested the government to allow reopening of classes for Class IX and XI in the first phase,” said chairperson of the confederation Badrinath Patnaik.