HYDERABAD: Unlike the other mornings of the past 17 months, September 1, Wednesday, was different as most schools and colleges in the city reopened for physical classes after a long lull.
The first day of the reopening witnessed a low turnout of students amid fears of the third wave of Covid-19 and confusion among parents regarding the school reopening. While only 25 per cent students turned up at most government schools, many private schools bore a deserted look on the first day in the city.
M Amer Ali, administrative officer of Zikar High School said, “We are disappointed with the low turnout. Till Tuesday night, scores of parents reached out to us asking about the school reopening as they were confused. Many also came to the school on Wednesday to inquire if they can send their children to the school. We are hopeful that in the coming days, the turnout will increase.”At colleges, students who did attend, seemed delighted to be back. They were seen greeting each other with hugs, handshakes, laughter and jokes.
There was a lot of excitement among students while attending classes physically and introducing themselves to the lecturers in several colleges across Hyderabad. Students were seen sporting masks, sanitising their hands, maintaining social distance right from the entrance of the college. However, most colleges registered an attendance between 20 per cent to 50 per cent only.
‘Not scared of Covid’
Various schools, on Wednesday, welcomed students by distributing masks, did thermal screening, sanitiser spray and provided buckets with water for hand-washing. But, once inside the school, social distancing appeared to be the last thing on their minds.At the Musheerabad Government High School, walls were full of newly-stuck posters advising children to follow social distancing, wear masks at all times and washing hands. But the excited children felt this was overkill. “If you are scared of Covid, then it will definitely happen to you, so don’t care about it,” advised K Shravan, who was holding his friend’s hand.
While some students complained that it was tough to wear masks for a long time, others said they were missing their friends who did not turn up on the first day. However, overall the children appeared to be happy campers. “I was waiting to come back to school. The online classes are not a patch on actual classes. Here, I can just stand up and clarify my doubts with my teacher. Also, it’s terrific to be back with friends,” said 14-year-old Mahima Rani from Raj Bhavan Government school.
Slow and steady
Though a majority of colleges reopened, some such as Wesley Degree College on Sardar Patel Road have been conducting only examinations and are yet to resume physical classes. A few institutes such as Jahnavi Junior & Degree College in Ramgopalpet did not register any attendance on Day 1.John Kennedy, HoD, Department of English at Wesley Degree College, opined that attending online classes was like learning to drive on a stimulator. “It is advisable for students to come to educational institutes,” he said.