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Students upbeat in Punjab as classes resume

Students attend their class at a government school that reopened after further ease in COVID-induced lockdown restrictions, in Jalandhar, Monday, August 2, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Students are upbeat in Punjab after physical classes right from the pre-primary started on Monday following the government’s decision to reopen schools for all classes amid drop in COVID-19 cases.

At the government primary school in Kambali, students and teachers are jubilant. Most of the children were seen following the COVID-19 appropriate behaviours even as the fear surrounding the spread of COVID-19 hasn’t completely faded away.

“All the classes have started today and the cheerfulness among them is clearly visible. While we had been holding classes online during the past over one year, physical classes are better practice. There are children whose families are not financially very sound and and cannot afford cell phone or laptop or at times spending on Internet data is a problem,” Parminder Kaur, head teacher, told The Hindu.

“We have 394 students enrolled in classes 1 to 5 and close to 200 students have come today, which is really encouraging. Some parents are yet to give written consent for sending their children. I am hopeful parents will give their consent in the coming days and more students will come to school,” she said.

Wearing a face mask, Sophia, a fifth-grade student, said she was happy to be back on the campus. “During the online classes, studying on mobile was very difficult. Sitting in my class with my friends and studying is better,” she said. Echoing the sentiments, her classmate Upasana said: “There’s no fear of corona because I am wearing a mask. I am also carrying my water bottle. All of us want to stay safe. ”

At the government high school in Mauli Baidwan, principal Sanjeev said children were missing the environment of school campus. “More than 50% have already come to school. We have strength of 415. A sense of fear surrounding COVID-19 is natural among parents but most of them have left their wards on the campus after satisfying themselves of the safety steps we have implemented. We are ensuring social distancing in classes, sanitisers are available and teachers are keeping a tab that students wear masks,” he said.

Playing with her classmate in the school playground Jasmeet, a class three student, said, “I missed my friends. I am happy to be in the school with my friend Rakhi.We will play the whole day and study a little.”

Gurpreet Singh, a class 12 student in the government model senior secondary school in Phase 11 of Mohali, said fear of COVID-19 is everywhere but life is all about overcoming fears. “I and all my friends are adhering to safety measures and I am sure we will beat the pandemic,” he said.

School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla had said the timings will remain from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and parents will have to provide written consent before sending their wards to schools.

“The reopening of schools would play an important role in assessing the students. During the pandemic, the teachers were able to contact them through only virtual classes. After the assessment, the teachers would focus on the fields which will require more attention. Also, it will provide a chance to the schools and teachers to teach the practical subjects in a better way by conducting practical classes.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 6:47:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/students-upbeat-in-punjab-as-classes-resume/article35680490.ece

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