Govt asks all schools to scrap awards for attendance
The state government has asked schools in Jharkhand to do away with awards for students with 100 per cent attendance in a bid to discourage those who are unwell from attending classes, officials of the school education and literacy department said on Sunday.
“The lure of an award might encourage students to neglect their health and attend classes even if they are unwell,” said an official of Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC). “In case a student is infected by the coronavirus and his/her symptoms are not apparent, the risk of transmission will increase if he/she attends class,” the official added.
Schools in Jharkhand will remain closed till July 31. However, the government may resume classes if the Centre decides to reopen educational institutions across the country after July 31, said state school education secretary Rahul Sharma.
The state government has prepared a standard operating procedure (SoP) for schools across Jharkhand for the post-lockdown period, said Sharma. The SoP includes maintenance of hygiene at schools, spreading awareness about Covid-19 virus and its symptoms, and maintaining social distancing in class.
The SoP, a copy of which is with The Telegraph Online, states, “Schools must discourage unwell students from attending classes and do away with awards given for maintaining 100 per cent attendance.
“Schools must also incorporate flexible attendance and sick leave policy to discourage unwell students and teachers from attending classes.”
Private as well as government schools give away annual awards to students for maintaining 100 per cent attendance in a bid to encourage students to attend classes. The award usually includes a trophy and a certificate. Students are also required to maintain at least 75 per cent attendance in order to be eligible for appearing in exams.
As per government data, there are more than 40,000 government schools in Jharkhand. Around 42 lakh students, mostly from rural areas, are enrolled in these schools. The awards given for maintaining attendance have been effective not only in improving attendance but also in checking the dropout rate, sources said.
Schools across Jharkhand have been closed since March 22. Private as well as government schools have been holding online classes for students during this period.