Tamil Nadu

Many students back on campus

Exercising discretion: Parental consent was made compulsory for children to attend in-person classes. File photo  

In a few days, it will nearly be a month since schools across Tamil Nadu reopened for Classes 9-12. While there were some parents who were hesitant to send their children back to school, many schools in Chennai say more than 90% of the senior students have returned to the campus.

“We have over 95% of our students back on campus, and most of the students who have not returned belong to families that have shifted out of the city because of the loss of livelihood. The school has reached out to these students to ensure that they continue learning through alternate modes or we have helped them find admission to other government schools,” said G. Shanmugavel, Headmaster, Government Higher Secondary School, MGR Nagar.

At Chennai High School in Kottur, Headmistress K. Maheshwari Kalpana said only around 4 students of Class 10 and 8 students of Class 9 had not returned. “Most of these children are not keeping away from school for health reasons, and we are working with the School Education Department to reach out to them. There are strict safety protocols in place on the campus, which are being followed by the students,” she said.

Ahead of the reopening, the School Education Department had made it compulsory for all schools to get the parents’ consent for their children to attend in-person classes.

“We reached out to a few parents who had reservations about sending their children back and had to brief them about the safety measures we had implemented,” said Lakshmi Prabha, Principal, Prasan Vidya Mandir. Ms. Lakshmi Prabha, who is the chairperson of the Kanchi Cluster of CBSE schools under Chennai Sahodaya, said over 95% students of around 29 member-schools were back on the campus, from Perungulathur to Melmaruvathur. “For schools in semi-urban areas where it has been tough to reach out to all students through online classes, this has been a welcome sign.”

School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi has reiterated that students should not be forced to return to school if they have reservations about their safety, and alternate modes of teaching should continue.

“Compared with earlier this year, there is a better awareness among students and teachers across the State of the safety measures to be followed,” R. Visalakshi. president, Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association, said. The inoculation of most teaching and non-teaching staff members has encouraged the schools to keep the campuses open. “Several schools have been raising awareness through students to ensure the vaccination of their parents too.”

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 3:50:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/many-students-back-on-campus/article36687269.ece

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