Bengaluru student who got holiday says: ‘Leopard should come daily’

Amid hysteria and panic over the possibility of yet another leopard in and around Whitefield, at least 60 schools declared a holiday on Wednesday. Several others held classes briefly before sending children back home.

Although the children whose schools had declared a holiday were excited about enjoying their holiday, many found it hard to find company.

Riddhima Chandra, a seven-year-old who studies in Vibgyor High at Marathahalli, was unable to find company as most of her friends in the apartment complex had gone to school. However, she said that she watched television, did homework given by her father and went cycling. “I had fun. Leopard should come daily,” she exclaimed.

Out of the 60 schools, over a dozen private schools in and around Varthur and Marathahalli had declared a holiday after rumours of leopard sighting began making the rounds on Tuesday night.

Ramesh S.M., Block Education Officer South 4 Range, had directed 134 schools to declare a holiday as a precautionary measure. However, many private schools, who received the communication as late as Wednesday morning, did not do so as children had already boarded school buses. Some schools, including Harvest International, worked for half a day before sending the children home.

Mr. Ramesh said that the schools that declared a holiday on Wednesday and Thursday will be asked to work on one of the holidays to complete their portions, as examinations are around the corner.

School suspends outdoor activities

In view of the anxiety among parents, several schools sent a circular stating that they would ensure the safety of all children. Delhi Public School, East sent a circular stating that all entry and exit points will be guarded, security guard would be on the rounds along the boundaries of the school and CCTV cameras were being monitored constantly. Principal of DPS East Manila Carvalho said that all games and outdoor activities would be suspended until further notice.

Schools to be closed on Thursday

With rumours of leopard sightings refusing to die down even by Wednesday evening, the Block Education Officer South Range 4 asked 134 schools — 78 private and 56 government — to remain closed on Thursday as well as a precautionary measure. Areas where schools have been asked to declare a holiday include Immandihalli, Varthur, Marathahalli and Doddakanahalli.

Ramesh S.M., Block Education Officer South 4 Range, said that he had declared a holiday for Thursday as well after hearing rumours of a leopard sighting in Nellurahalli.

Inconvenience to parents

Many parents had trouble making alternative arrangements as they had not anticipated a holiday.

Pooja S. who lives in Whitefield, said that she had to make arrangements to pick up her daughter from school as she was at work. “The unexpected holiday came as a shock. The department should have declared a holiday the previous night,” she said.

Many parents took the work-from-home option to take care of their children. Vikash Chandra, a resident of Whitefield, said that he would be working from home for two days to take care of his daughter.

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Printable version | Jul 21, 2021 4:51:15 AM |

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