States

Poor attendance in Haryana schools and colleges, but no plan to suspend classes

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18

A fortnight after government schools were opened in Haryana, only 40 per cent students of Classes IX to XII are attending school even as cases of students and staff infected with Covid 19 are on the rise in Haryana. The Education Department, however, has decided to adopt a “wait and watch” approach and will seek the opinion of experts before taking any call on the continuation of classes.

Education Minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar, speaking to The Tribune, said that though the attendance in schools was poor and there was a recent spurt in cases, there was no plan yet to call off the classes even temporarily. “Our schools have been open for the senior classes since the beginning of the month and colleges and universities have opened post-Diwali though attendance is low. However, there is no plan to suspend classes,” the Minister said.

Though the educational institutions have been asked to follow all Covid-19 protocols of making sanitisers available, ensuring that students wear masks as also social distancing, cases of students testing positive have surfaced from schools of Rewari and Jind. “We have already closed down these schools for two weeks and we will close down those schools where the students and staff test positive. Also, we might even need to close down schools in that particular pocket. We will not go beyond that for now,” Gujjar said.

However, there is no provision for testing school students or those attending college since the numbers involved are large. As many as 1,24,650 students attended school. This number has gone up from 86,000 students who attended school in the first week. Maintaining that the Department would go by the advise of the experts regarding closure of schools if the cases continue to rise, the Minister added, “We will watch the numbers over the next few days. Though testing of all the students is not possible given their large numbers, we will abide by any advice we are given.”

The number of students attending colleges is also very low as compared to their strengthen Government College for Girls, Ballabhgarh, operating from a school building no students came, while a government co-educational college in Faridabad saw only 41 out of over 5,000 attend classes, and a girls’ college in Kulana (Jhajjar) had only 17 students. The maximum number of 401 students reportedly attended classes at Government Girls’ College in Madlauda in Panipat while the college in Ambala Cantt had 324 students present.

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