As Andhra Schools Reopen, 575 Students, 829 Teachers Get COVID-19
All government schools and colleges in Andhra Pradesh reopened on 2 November for Class 9 and 10 students.
Within three days of high schools opening in Andhra Pradesh, 575 Students and 829 teachers have tested positive for COVID-19, reported PTI.
All government schools and colleges in the state reopened on 2 November for Class 9 and 10 students. The sharp spike in COVID-19 positive cases has alarmed parents and officials estimate that only 40 percent of students have begun attending classes.
However, according to V Chinna Veerabhadrudu, Commissioner of School Education, these figures are not alarming when compared to the number of students who are attending the school. He maintains that very strict COVID-19 safety protocols have been implemented and only 15-16 students have been grouped in a classroom.
“On 4 November, around four lakh students attended schools, but there were 262 positive cases. It is not even 0.1%. It is not correct to say that they were affected due to their attendance to schools. Out of the 1.11 lakh teachers, about 160 teachers have tested positive. The lives of both teachers and students are important for us,” Veerabhadrudu told PTI.
As per the statistics provided by the education department, Class 9 and 10 have 9.75 lakh registered students, out of which 3.93 lakh attended; and out of 1.11 lakh teachers, over 99,000 teachers attended the education institutions on Wednesday, 4 November. Officials have stated that 99.2 percent of high schools have opened up in the state and 89.92 percent of teachers have started teaching classes, as reported on 5 November.
Veerabhadrudu maintains that it is important to reopen schools, especially for economically backward students who do not have the opportunity to the access online education. He further said that girl students from tribal and rural areas may get pressurised to quit school and get married if the schools do not open.
Task Force Set Up to Monitor COVID-19 in Schools
Education Minister Adimupalu Suresh told PTI that “a task force has been set up. The standard operating procedures are strictly being followed. It is very unlikely that the teachers and the students can contract the virus while at school.”
The Andhra Pradesh government has said that they will actively support the mental health of the students who have been affected by the virus. The financial, career-oriented and the stress of uncertainty will be supported by mental health practitioners and psychology professors.
Satish Chandra told India Today that, “Mental health is as important as physical health for a student and we have undertaken this initiative with the aim of getting students back to the right path. The government and departments will provide guidance and assistance.”
The schools across the state have remained closed since March as the COVID-19 pandemic officials intend to resume Class 6, 7 and 8 by 23 November and will only restart primary school on 14 December.
(With inputs from PTI, India Today and The News Minute)
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