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Friday, February 26, 2021

Punjab: Tiny tots back to classrooms as schools reopen for pre-primary, class-1, 2

While some government schools reported thin attendance, others received better response and witnessed good attendance in pre-primary sections.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: February 2, 2021 4:03:40 am
First-grader Mehardeep of Govt Primary School, PAU, in Ludhiana, was the only one from her class of 39 who turned up on Monday. (Photo: Gurmeet Singh)

Flower petals, balloons, red carpet, kheer in mid-day meal — that’s how the tiny tots were welcomed as the schools reopened for pre-primary and classes 1 and 2 in Punjab on Monday after a gap of nearly 10 months.

While some government schools reported thin attendance, others received better response and witnessed good attendance in pre-primary sections.

In Nawanshahr, 62.46% attendance was recorded for pre-primary in government schools. For class-1, out of the total 3,947 students, 2,955 (74.86%) were present and for class-2, 3329 (78.51%) students out of total 4240 attended school on day one.

Neel Kamal, assistant district coordinator, Padho Punjab, Nawanshahr, said that teachers showered flower petals and made other special arrangements to welcome tiny tots back to school. “With the grant of Rs 12,000 per primary school that was received for health and hygiene component , especially for pre-primary section, several arrangements were made in view of Covid such as buying sanitizers, handwash, dustbins, first aid kits etc to ensure that kids are safe when schools reopen. Many schools laid red carpet to welcome back children, others showered flower petals,” said Neel Kamal. “The response has been very good in pre-primary section with parents expressing happiness on reopening of schools,” he said.

However, in some government schools, such as one at PAU Ludhiana, the day one witnessed very low attendance in class-1 and 2. Only five students in total from class-1 and 2 attended school.

Harinder Kaur, head teacher, Government primary school, village Wara Bhai Ka, Faridkot, said that of 58 students in pre-primary section, 51 were present. “Similarly, for class 1 and 2, we had nearly full attendance. Some students who did not make it in the morning, came after we called their parents and informed them that schools have been reopened,” she said, adding, “We showered flowers on the students and teachers stood at the gate to welcome them.”

In Ludhiana, 25 of 36 students attended pre-primary, 9/9 attended class-1 and 15/17 attended class-2 at government primary school, Bhukri Kalan. At GPS Bhamian Khurd, 23 of 45 students were present in class-1 and 35 of 56 were present in class-2. At GPS Bhamian Kalan, 66 of 126 students attended pre-primary, 31 of 48 were present in class-1 and 45 of 59 were present in class-2, on day one.

At government primary school, Ghulal of Ludhiana where 20 of 43 students attended pre-primary classes, 13 of 21 attended class-1 and 14 of 23 were present in class-2, teachers distributed masks and kheer was served in midday meal. “Most parents are happy that schools have been reopened. Despite harsh winters, good attendance was recorded on day one. It will further improve in coming days,” said Sanjeev Kumar, a teacher from GPS Ghulal.

Meanwhile, even as Punjab has now reopened schools for all classes from class 1 to 12 in phased manner, teachers continue to test positive for Covid-19. According to a senior health official, till now at least 28 teachers have tested positive including 19 in Ludhiana and nine from other districts, majority of them being government school teachers.

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