After deciding to throw open schools for students of classes VI to VIII, the government has issued guidelines stating that the present mode of online learning would continue, including digital lessons on the TSAT platform.
The guidelines issued by the Director of School Education state that it is not mandatory for students to attend physical classes but those who wish to attend, have to get a consent form from their parents. Mid-day meals would be served and principals have been asked to ensure that lunch is served in staggered timings to avoid contact. The last working day for schools would be the last day of SSC exams.
Hostels will also be opened and all measures have to be taken to ensure distance between beds and also the number of students reduced in each room or dormitory. Sanitisation measures in schools and hostels have to be taken twice a day. Since there is detention till class VIII as per the RTE Act, there is no force on students to maintain the requisite attendance for exams.
Meanwhile, teachers unions are divided on the reopening. The Balala Hakkula Samskshema Sangham (BHSS) has welcomed the re-opening but said that the government has to ensure safety of all students and not just please private school managements and teachers in view of the MLC elections. The Telangana State Primary Teachers’ Association (TSPTA) has opposed the idea when there was a rise in COVID cases and other state governments were preparing for lockdowns.
TSPTA president Syed Shoukat Ali, in a statement, questioned the need for re-opening schools when the academic year was coming to an end in just one month. He said teachers would face problems in ensuring COVID guidelines when there is a shortage of rooms and furniture and schools were crowded.