It is just after 2.30pm on Wednesday September 1, the end of day one of the reopening of schools for students in class IX to XII.
Some of the students at the P S Higher Secondary School on R K Mutt Road are heading back home sharing with their parents the new-found experience of returning to school and the physical class atmosphere.
There is a big smile on the face of Head Mistress R Kala for she is delighted with the positive response from the students. There were cheerful faces all around.
She says that around 400 students were present this morning “They started off with the cleanliness pledge to follow protocols at all times.”
Kala told Mylapore Times on Wednesday that the school team organised two large rooms- a big hall and a mini hall- that can accommodate 40 students each.
In the normal classrooms, 20 students are permitted with social distancing norms. “For Class X and XII, daily classes will be held while for Class IX and XI, the odd – even number model will be followed and the students will attend physical classes on alternate days.”
For those who are unable to attend, online classes will continue.
Kala said that every student was screened in the morning and no one reported abnormal temperature. Hand sanitizers have been placed in every classroom. All the teachers as well as the staff have been vaccinated.
Kala was particularly delighted at the fact that all the students wore masks and followed the social distancing protocol on their own. “They have become very conscious of the health hazards and are taking proactive steps on their own. The student consciousness of the seriousness of the issue is very high.”
The Head Mistress pointed out that if the teachers were to feel suffocated due to the continuous wearing of masks, the school has made arrangements for conducting open air classes as there is a huge open space available within the complex.
Strong Alumni Support
The past students of the school have pledged their continuous support and have been readily forthcoming with student welfare measures, Kala said. “They have told us that we could reach out to them for support at any time and that is a very comforting feeling.”
As per the Central Government’s RBSK scheme intended at early detection of health issues, doctors will be screening all the students on an ongoing basis and checking their general health. Kala said that emergency medical contact numbers of three nearby hospitals have been displayed at the entrance for any urgent medical care.
The early feedback on Wednesday has been very encouraging both from the teachers as well as the students. “We are all happy to see the students physically back at our school. After having been part of the online model for over a year, they have found it refreshing to come back into the school room atmosphere, to see the playground (though they are not allowed to play games) and to actually breathe some fresh air in the open spaces within the school complex” Kala said.
- Report, photo by S. Prabhu