Several schools in the city are reporting absence of students because of Covid or symptoms of the infection. Many schools in the past week have been sending students back after they showed up with symptoms like cold, cough and fever.
Parents are writing mails to some schools saying their children have Covid and to excuse them.
The number of absent students has been varying from five to 50 in schools. For the first time since schools reopened in March, there are instances of Covid cases on campuses, several heads said.
“We are seeing a number of children running a temperature. Some students are being sent back home every day. We are asking students to come back to school only with a doctor’s certificate,” said Terence Ireland, principal of St James’ School.
South Point issued a notice to parents on Thursday asking them to sign an online health declaration form. Based on the information in the form, parents will receive an automated email that will indicate if the child has permission to attend school the next day.
“...it is important to keep an infected child (even if no testing has been done) at home and under quarantine for at least seven days. Even after that, if the child is not fully fit, please do not send him/her to school until complete recovery,” the notice said.
The school has postponed all evaluation and assessments for the time being.
In the course of the week, Mahadevi Birla World Academy and Indus Valley World School issued notices to parents not to send children who are sick to school.
“There was an excitement on returning to school but because of health concerns there has been a setback,” said Anjana Saha, principal of Mahadevi Birla World Academy.
Apurbo Ghosh, director of Institute of Child Health, said there are five to six children in his clinic every day in the age group of six to 16 testing positive for Covid.
“For most of them the disease is mild but this week, most getting tested are positive. We are advising seven to eight days isolation. If children have Covid-like symptoms, it is advisable to stay at home,” he said.
Some schools reopened last week and some this week after a long summer break. Schools have noticed a laxity in wearing masks among parents and students.
“It will indeed be a sad situation if schools have to close down because of the carelessness that seems to have set in regarding the... virus. We appeal to all parents to help us continue teaching offline, at school. Let us all join and fight Covid as it has already taken a deep toll on the education system at large,” said the notice from South Point.
Teachers in some schools have tested positive for Covid.
“Teachers who are in quarantine are taking classes from home through smart boards,” said Bratati Bhattacharyya, secretary general of Shri Shikshayatan School.