On Monday, June 8, a few students of St. Raphael’s Girls School, San Thome were seen in school uniform near the school. This raised the eyebrows of local residents.
Now, staff at this school say the girls had come to collect the masks as per the instructions of the government.
The school staff who wished to remain unidentified says, “We had received instructions from the government to distribute masks to the Class X and XI students who were supposed to write their exams on June 15. And that is why we had asked them to come. This was before the exams were cancelled. While we did ask the students to come in any comfortable attire some of them showed up in their uniform. The rumours about students attending school or special classes are not true”.
When asked if the students have started taking online classes, she says, “Students of classes IX, X and XII have started online classes. More than 90% of the students have laptops with a 4G internet connection at home and are able to log on. A few students share with their friends. For the others, the class teacher keeps in touch with them regularly and tells them how to do the assignments given to them. The teachers who don’t have laptops are allowed to come to school and use the computer lab to take classes”.
The challenges the teachers face is getting the students to attend classes on time. But that she says is understandable as most of these students are from underprivileged backgrounds. She adds, “For many children, the lockdown has been difficult. From the first lockdown till the end of May, the parents of more than 600 children received rice and provisions from us. So just logging on in the morning is a challenge for many. Teachers at our school are very patient and they don’t reprimand the student for logging on late. We have not insisted on uniforms either”.