Schools in West Bengal recorded an average attendance of 72% on Day 1 of the reopening.
“We congratulate all students on their return to campus after so many months and wish everyone good health,” West Bengal education minister Bratya Basu said.
Happy faces could be spotted at Apeejay Schools, Park Street, Salt Lake and Bhubaneswar. “To see students attending physical classes after almost 20 months and hearing the school bell ring was a delight. Apeejay Schools, Park Street and Salt Lake, witnessed good attendance. We followed all the guidelines of the state government for the reopening,” said Kiranjit Singh Pannu, chief executive officer, Apeejay Schools (Kolkata, Haldia and Bhubaneswar).
Students at the Apeejay Schools were divided to ensure that not more than 50% of students were called to the campus on a single day. Entry and exit wasd staggered to avoid crowd.
“All the classrooms and campus infrastructure were sanitised ahead of the reopening. Sanitisation will be carried out at the end of each day. Temperature monitoring, sanitisation platforms at entry and exit points and outside each classroom, lab and toilets ensured a safe environment for all. Child safety and security along with motivation and counselling were the key focus area for the first day of reopening,” Singh said.
The Government School Teachers’ Association said all 39 government schools recorded over 90% attendance. “The students and teachers are all excited. On the first day of reopening, almost all the schools had over 90% attendance. We hope this will continue in the coming days. After all, students on campus keep us motivated. While the schools have been encouraging students not to share tiffin and bring their own food, Uttarpara Government School, the only government school in the state to offer cooked food to students, has decided to stop the practice till the situation improves. None of the schools wants to do anything that could create a crowd,” said Saugata Basu, the general secretary of the association.
Sarbari Brahma, the principal of Griffins International School, Kharagpur, was waiting at the school gate along with a few teachers to welcome students with greeting cards. “We felt fabulous to have the students back on campus today. Classes X and XII were given admit cards for Term I Board Examinations. They practised on the new format of OMR sheet so that they get accustomed before the examination. Classes IX and XI enjoyed the day with their peers and teachers doing activities and taking part in interactive sessions without books and notebooks. Maintaining COVID protocol was our top priority. The smiles told us that the students had a wonderful day after a long time,” she said.