Schools for classes 10 to 12 reopened in Punjab on Monday with students saying they were happy to return to classrooms as they could interact with their teachers in person and understand things better. The schools have opened after nearly four months. They were shut in March amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The state government has allowed only those teachers and staff to return to schools who are fully vaccinated. It is mandatory for schools to seek written consent from parents for sending their children to attend classes. Virtual classes are also continuing.
Schools followed all Covid protocols strictly. "No student is allowed to enter the school without a mask. Proper social distancing is being maintained in classes," an official of a school in Amritsar said.
Thermal scanning is being conducted at school entrances and hand sanitisers have been provided to students. Only one student is allowed to sit on a desk, school authorities said. A teacher of a Ludhiana-based school said that so far, there is a very positive response from students.
"I am happy to be back in school. Though we were studying through the online mode, we can understand better in the classroom," said an elated student in Ludhiana. Another student in Amritsar said, "I am very happy to return to school today. We can now interact with our teachers in the classroom."
In Moga, an official of a senior secondary school told reporters that they are following government instructions and allowing only those students to return to classes whose parents have given their consent.
The state government has said schools for students of the remaining classes shall also be allowed to open from August 2 if the Covid situation remains under control. As of Sunday, Punjab had recorded 5,98,794 COVID-19 cases and 16,266 deaths due to the disease, according to a medical bulletin.
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