July 20, 2021 5:24:44 am
GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS of Haryana have recorded higher attendance (72 per cent) than public schools (65 per cent) since July 16, when classes IX to XII reopened after staying closed for months due to the pandemic.
According to officials, there are 3.2 lakh students of classes IX to XII in Haryana’s private schools. As per reopening guidelines, classes have been allowed at only 50 per cent strength, going by which, only 1.6 lakh students were allowed to attend classes. As many as 65 per cent (1.05 lakh) of these 1.6 lakh private school students attended classes on July 17. On the other hand, out of 5.7 lakh students (classes IX to XII) in government schools, as many as 2.8 lakh students were allowed to attend classes. As many as 72 per cent (2.06 lakh) of 2.8 lakh students attended government schools the same day.
An official of the education department said: “Government schools are largely in villages where the people were not concerned about Covid-19 since the beginning. That’s why the attendance of government schools is more than that of private schools. However, we have observed a common sentiment among students and their parents that the schools should be reopened for real study. They also feel that online education is just a formality and not a substitute of regular studies. They want proper assessment of performance in examination and access to libraries and laboratories.”
An academician from Rohtak, Pramod Gouri, said: “In the absence of adequate resources to arrange better mobiles or laptops for online classes, the students of government schools, especially in rural areas, don’t have any other option but to attend classes physically. On the other hand, the option of online classes is open for students of private schools, particularly in urban areas.”
State Education Minister Kanwar Pal Gurjar says there had been a warm response from students towards reopening of schools. According to the minister, Rs 13 crore had been sent to the schools to arrange items required to follow Covid protocol and ensure sanitisation. There is a provision of Rs 2,000 for small government schools while Rs 10,000 will be given to big schools. “We have planned that there should not be more than 30 students in a class,” said Gurjar.
Initially, schools will be opened for classes IX to XII for only three hours daily. The state government has also decided to reopen schools for classes from VI to VIII from July 23, while for students of classes I to V, a decision will be taken later.
Earlier this month, the Directorate of School Education had sent out a directive to Haryana district officials regarding over 12.5 lakh students of private schools having not enrolled for the current academic session, expressing “apprehensions” that they might have dropped out.
The data submitted by private schools to the Haryana Education Department had shown that 17.31 lakh students enrolled for the 2021-22 academic session as of June 28, against 29.83 lakh last year. The state has 14,500 government schools and 8,900 private.
Officials had said that some of these children might not have been enrolled by the schools themselves over fee issues, and some could have moved to government schools. There would be others who dropped out as they have no access to the online mode during the pandemic-induced lockdown, they had added.
However, officials say there has now been a sharp increase in the number of students enrolling again in private schools, with the reopening process. The number of students who have not enrolled in private schools has decreased from 12.5 lakh to nearly 8 lakh now.
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