‘Students mingling outside the premises a cause for concern’

Schools have spotted many Class X students hanging out at eateries or cafés

While teachers and school managements are attempting to be strict in enforcing physical distancing in classrooms, they are finding it difficult to ensure that students follow the same norm after class hours, before they return home.

Many private school managements have sent advisories to parents to instruct them to maintain distance outside the school premises as well.

Hanging out

D. Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS), said that schools have spotted many Class X students hanging out at eateries or cafés near the school.

“We make sure that our students maintain distance and wear masks all the time when they are inside the school. But once they get out of the school they are found to be interacting in close proximity with each other, without masks. This is worrying as we do not want students to pass on the infection to others,” he said. He said that schools are currently conducting three-hour classes and letting students off before lunch so that they avoid eating lunch together.

P.M. Sathyanarayana, Secretary, Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial High School, said that they have even started sending messages to parents 10 minutes before their classes end. “We ask the parents to check if they have returned home on time as we do not want them to mingle with each other outside school,” he said.

He added that they were forced to do this as they did not want school managements to be blamed for any unforeseen events.

Mr. Satyanarayana said that they take great care to ensure that the schools and classrooms are sanitised every day and also have stringent mechanisms in place to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.

Parents on vigil

Sushant S., a parent whose son studies in Class X in a private school in Bengaluru, said, “On Saturday, my son came back home very late as he spent time with his friends after classes. So from today I have decided that I will drop and pick him up from school so that he does not mingle with other students after classes.”

Schools across Karnataka reopened on January 1 after nine-and-a-half months for II P.U. and Class 10 students. Based on the feedback and response for Class X students, the State government will take a call on whether other classes can be opened in a phased manner from January 15.

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