February 1, 2021 11:55:26 pm
As Monday marked the return of secondary school students to classrooms across the city, after the Pune Municipal Corporation finally allowed schools to start classes for students of Class V to VIII, a festive atmosphere was seen in majority of schools as excited pupils turned up for classroom lessons. Parents queuing up outside schools, excited chatter of students and reprimands from teachers were some common scenes across city schools.
And while the response to starting lectures for students from Class IX to XII last month was met with lukewarm response initially, the situation was quite different this time. Suresh Jagtap, additional commissioner of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said 398 of 950 schools, including private and PMC-run schools, started classes for students of Class V to VIII.
This was in stark contrast to only 44 schools which had started classes for Class IX to XII in January.
At Vishwakarma Vidyalaya in Bibvewadi, principal Sulabha Deshmukh said 84 of 140 students in Class VIII came for lectures. “The RT-PCR test reports are awaited for a few teachers, so we started only Class VIII today. However, this time our experience is different. When we started classes in January for Class XII, only 17 students had come of a batch of nearly 200 students. But since classes are running smoothly now, the fear is lower and confidence about schools is higher, which is why we had a good response. There was a huge turnout of parents too… many of them interacted with me and were happy classes have resumed,” she said.
Meanwhile, from not receiving Covid-negative test reports of teachers to delay in permission from the local body to start school and even a ‘wait-and-watch’ approach to see if the government changes its mind on reopening schools, the reasons – for some schools to remain– were varied.
Anvit Pathak, director of Millennium School, Kothrud, which did not reopen on Monday, said classes will start from February 8, as the consent of parents is still being sought and preparations are being made.
Rajendra Singh, trustee of Priyadarshini Schools and representative of the Independent English School Association, said schools are willing to start classroom teaching for Classes V to VIII, but the same will open phase wise and maximum schools will reopen by next week.
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