Bhopal: One. That was the number of student attending class 12 at Government Vidya Vihar Higher Secondary School in Professors Colony on Monday. The classroom was vacant and barring one, all the other teachers were killing their time, sitting in staff room.
Fareen of humanities stream, who stays near Raj Bhavan, was the only student to attend school. “I am feeling bored. None of my classmates has come. They told me that they would come but probably they decided to stay back because of heavy rain,” she told Free Press. School principal Nisha Kamrani said there are 49 students in class 12. In past one week, the highest student turnout was five. Same is the case with class 11, which has 64 students.
Class 12 is conducted on Mondays in schools. Class 11 is held on Tuesdays. They are held on alternate days. Remaining classes have yet to resume.
“We are making every effort to call students to school. We have sent WhatsApp messages to their parents and even contacted them on phone. But they are not coming,” Kamrani said.
Kamrani said about 100 students of class 11 and class 12 stay in hostels. Though the hostels have reopened, the students have yet to return. That also might be one reason for poor attendance, she said. She said that over past one-and-a half-years, the students have got so used to staying at home that they are not in a mood to attend classes.
The state government ordered schools to reopen for class 12 and class 11 from July 26 with 50% capacity. Classes are held on alternate days for students. From August 5, studies in class 9 and class 10 will commence.
One week after reopening, the attendance of students is low. In fact, while government schools have reopened, most of private and missionary schools have yet to start classes. Pushpa Rao, principal of Government Kamla Nehru Girls’ Higher Secondary School, TT Nagar, said out of 120 class 12 students, only 32 were present on Monday. On the first day of reopening, the number was 18.
Rao said that one reason may be the reluctance of parents to send their wards to school due to fear of third wave of pandemic. “They are unwilling to let them use public transport,” she said.
At Government Subhash Higher Secondary School for Excellence, 70 students attended the school on Monday while last week, the number was 86. “It seems that parents are still scared. Let us wait for one week before arriving at any conclusion,” said Arpan Narolia, a teacher at the school. There are about 200 government and private higher secondary schools in city.
"The situation in state government schools is satisfactory. Children are coming in good numbers. We make video calls to schools and we know that classes are being held. As for CBSE private schools, they are also trying to persuade students to attend classes".
Nitin Saxena, District Education Officer, Bhopal