Visakhapatnam

Parents seek closure of schools

Health matters: Students returning from school in Visakhapatnam.   | Photo Credit: File photo K.R. Deepak

With the steady increase in the COVID-19 cases in the district, parents are in a grip of fear and seek closure of schools. After almost a span of 10 months, the educational institutions started functioning in February following instructions from the State government. Though the attendance was good in the first few weeks, it is said to be gradually declining in many schools due to the increasing number of infections in the second wave. A number of students and teachers have already tested positive at Gopalapatnam, Anakapalle, Atchutapuuram, Anandapuram and a few other areas in the last one month.

In the last 18 days, the district has reported more than 6,000 new infections and 23 persons died. The active cases were just 24 on March 1, but on Sunday, they were 4,062.

Parents allege that it is high time the government take a decision and close the schools. They also say that social distancing is being completely ignored in the educational institutions.

A few parents said that sending their children in city buses and auto-rickshaws during this second wave would be dangerous. “Initially students used to maintain social distancing and used sanitisers. But as days gone by, the rules are being ignored completely. Students are made to sit three in a bench. While going to school and coming, there are high chances of children contracting virus,” said J. Kranthi Kumar, a parent from Madhurawada area.

This is the case even with the higher education students. Recent incident of over 100 students of Andhra University testing positive has left a major impact. Even attendance in many colleges has started to dip, it is learnt. Students in hostels are leaving for homes and taking the option of online classes.

According to a senior official from the Education Department, they cannot initiate any action until there is an order from the higher official. “Whenever any student or faculty tests positive, we are taking all measures like sanitising schools, tracing contacts and testing them immediately. Students are randomly tested at many schools,” he said.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 4:53:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/parents-seek-closure-of-schools/article34353681.ece

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