Schools around the country reopened on Sunday after a long closure of one and a half years. Today, Monday, is the second day of school since the reopening. A visit to six educational institutions in the capital city's Motjheel, Arambagh and Shahjahanpur areas saw students entering the schools, following the health protocol. The students were not being allowed to wander around the school grounds aimlessly. The teachers also made sure everyone wear masks in the classrooms.
Teachers and other staff of the educational institutions also wore masks. However, once school was over and the students emerged from the school, the health rules were no longer strictly in force.
Selim Khan, a resident of Goran, has two children studying at Ideal School and College, one in Class 6 and the other in Class 8. He was standing at a distance from the school's main gates, waiting for his children.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, he said the students were maintaining distance from each other as they came out of the school gates. However, the parents were crowding together outside the school. It was risky if the guardians did not follow the health rules. They needed to be more alert.
Another guardian, Shamsul Alam, has a daughter in Class 10. He said, the government took a right decision in opening the schools. Everyone has to be conscious about the health guidelines. There is no need for the guardians to crowd outside the school in this manner. The school authorities can use a microphone when school is over."
The authorities of Ideal School and College said there was an average 75 per cent of attendance yesterday, Sunday, the first day of school. Today, Monday, attendance was 74 per cent. The temperature of the students is checked as they enter school, they have to use hand sanitisers and then sit at a distance from each other. Today, Monday, classes for Class 3, 5, 6 and 10 are being held.
Assistant teacher of Ideal School and College, Md Mofazzal Hossain, told Prothom Alo, in these two days so far no student was found to be running a temperature or had to be sent home. If they are unwell, the parents are calling up to inform the school. Health rules are being strictly followed before school, but once classes are over the guardians are crowding outside the school gates. A rope has been strung up to keep the children in an orderly line as they emerge from the school. BNCC members, security guards and school staff are carrying out this responsibility.
It was the same scene in front of Motijheel Government Primary School, Motijheel Government Boys School, Motijheel Government Girls School, Motijheel Colony High School and Notre Dame College.
Students slip off masks
Tamanna Huq, a teacher of Motijheel Government Primary School, said, "The students are very attentive in class. They are not being given any pressure of studies since school has opened after so long. Some students slip off their masks to breathe freely. They say they are not comfortable with the masks. I have to explain to them."
Government Primary School ran classes for Class 2 and 5 today, Monday. There are 233 students in Class 2, but 132 were present. There are 247 students in Class 5, but 139 were present.
About the students who were absent, Motijheel Primary School headmistress Nur Jahan Hamida, told Prothom Alo, many students are still in the village with their families. Very few are absent because of any illness. No children fell ill in school over the last two days.
We are very strict about the students following the health rules. We warn any student who walks around the college campus with his mask pulled down. Even so, there are some students who try to go around without their masksFather Anthony Sushanta Gomes, student director, Notre Dame College
A visit to Notre Dame College at around 12:00 on Monday in the afternoon saw students of the first and second year had completed the first shift classes, many of them with their masks pulled down under their chins as they left the college premises. Yet no one had been allowed without their masks in the morning, said the college authorities.
The Notre Dame College authorities are strict about students wearing masks when they enter the premises. The afternoon shift students were entering at 12:00 noon on Monday. Each one had to use hand sanitiser as they entered and measure their temperature with the thermal thermometer. Only then could they proceed to class.
Notre Dame College student director, Father Anthony Sushanta Gomes, told Prothom Alo, "We are very strict about the students following the health rules. We warn any student who walks around the college campus with his mask pulled down. Even so, there are some students who try to go around without their masks."
* This report appeared in the online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir