Suresh Kumar urges students to follow ‘3Ws’, not share stationery, and bring their own drinking water
‘Vidayagama’ also resumes for students of Classes 6 to 9
As Karnataka schools reopened their doors for Classes 10 and PUC 2 on Friday, January 1, 2021, and with parents and students still apprehensive about the risk of infection, it was left to Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar to instill confidence in all the stakeholders by personally doing the rounds of various schools.
The reopening of schools after a hiatus of nine months has come not a day too soon, as Classes 10 and PUC 2 children are scheduled to take board exams this year. Alongside the higher classes, ‘Vidyagama’ instruction has also resumed for children of Classes 6 to 9.
Suresh Kumar visited several schools in Bengaluru Urban district’s Hebbugodi village in Anekal taluk and took stock of their Covid-19 preparedness. He also interacted with students coming back after the long break and seemed pleased with their Covid-preventive awareness, in particularly the ‘3Ws’ which the government has been promoting in the last couple of months.
Sample his tete-a-tete with the students:
Minister: What steps need to be followed to keep Covid away?
Students: Wash hands regularly, sanitize yourself, and maintain social distance.
Minister: What is social distance?
Students: Keeping a sufficient gap of 6 metres between two people is called social distance.
Going a step further, Suresh Kumar during his interaction with the students advised them not to share their pens, pencils and even books with fellow-students for the next few months. “It will be appropriate if you don’t share your stationery items, books and even notes for some time. Maintain social distance regularly, and before entering the school use a sanitizer and then approach the security guard to check your body temperature, and later head to the classroom,” he told them.
He requested students not to come to school if they have symptoms of a headache, cold, cough or fever, and advised them to bring their own drinking water from home.
The Minister also distributed forms to the students which need to be signed by their parents and submitted to the schools giving their consent to their wards returning to school.
He reminded parents that they need not send their wards to school if they have any apprehensions. “There is no mandatory requirement to attend classes and even offline classes are being conducted. But parents need not be afraid and should be confident enough to send their wards to school,” he said.
Speaking to the media later, he said, “We are not expecting that more students will come to school on day one of the reopening. Today, we expect a 50% turnout and more students coming back from Monday. I have appealed to teachers to maintain strict hygiene in school and treat the students as their own children.”