Vijayawada

Several AP schools ignore govt. order

Children combating the summer heat as well as the dreaded coronavirus by wearing masks and drinking coconut water, on their way home from school in Vijayawada on Tuesday.  

Even as the Centre has declared coronavirus as a ‘notified disaster’ and directed all the departments, institutions and the public to take precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of the virus, many educational institutions are not following the directive.

Unhygienic conditions are seen in many schools and colleges and stinking smell emanates from toilets. In some institutions, there are no sufficient toilets and there is no facility to wash hands.

The School Education Department has issued a circular to all the managements to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Commissioner of School Education V. China Veerabhadrudu has directed the managements of institutions to create awareness among students on prevention of coronavirus and other communicable diseases.

“There are no boards and wall posters to alert students on the steps to be taken to avoid coronavirus in schools and colleges. Managements are running classes in congested rooms for nursery and primary classes violating the advice of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the dreaded virus,” said Andhra Pradesh Higher Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission (APHER&MC) member V. Narayana Reddy, who inspected a few schools.

“While the entire world is worried over the pandemic spread over 150 countries, including India, educational institutions are least bothered over the measures to contain the virus in AP. The managements are running classes just to collect fee,” says a parent, B. Veerendra.

Mr. Veerabhadrudu has instructed the institutions to follow the guidelines issued by the government such as frequent hand wash, advice to students on use of handkerchief while sneezing or coughing and cover the mouth with a mask or handkerchief and maintain some distance from others while speaking.

The circular has been forwarded through the Regional Joint Directors (RJDs), District Educational Officers (DEOs), Deputy DEOs, Mandal Educational Officers (MEOs) and other officials concerned to all the government and private schools, the School Education Department personnel have told The Hindu.

About 66,000 schools, including 45,723 government schools, are functioning in Andhra Pradesh, and over 50 lakh students are studying in both government and private schools.

“Though there is a scare of COVID-19 across the globe and being aired for over a month through media, the managements of educational institutions are so negligent over the virus. There is no training and awareness for teachers and students and there is a chance of spreading the virus for children,” says a child rights activist.

Students’ complaint

Students of a corporate school allege that toilets and dining halls were not cleaned for the last two days. They have appealed to the education officials to conduct surprise checks and ensure that the guidelines of the governments are implemented strictly in all schools to prevent the outbreak of the virus.

“Many parents are enquiring about declaration of holidays due to coronavirus scare. From March 16, half day schools began, but many parents are not sending their wards to schools. Owing to lack of awareness, students are attending classes without wearing masks,” says a private school teacher. The APHER&MC member has appealed to the government to act against school managements which violate guidelines of the government.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:18:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/several-schools-ignore-govt-order/article31097216.ece

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