The schools, which remained closed since the coronavirus-induced lockdown in March, started functioning on a shift basis while class timings and other arrangements were left to the discretion of the school and local body authorities.
Necessary arrangements have been made in almost all schools for the conduct of classes by ensuring social distancing. Students have been split into small groups and classes will be conducted by accommodating one student each on a bench.
The student turnout was, however, below average in some pockets of the state where people are yet to come out of the fear of the pandemic. Safety concerns have also been raised about schools where the student strength is comparatively high.
CBSE schools report a drop in the number of students
The half strength of class X and XII students itself is above 3,000 in some schools in the northern districts. The student concessions for travel on public and private transport services have also not been restored while most schools have not started operating their buses.
The SSLC and plus-two examinations will be held from March 17 to 30 following Covid protocols. At the college level also, the classes will begin in early January with a limited number of students. Classes from the second year in medical colleges will also begin soon.
Meanwhile, general education minister C Raveendranath said 1.75 lakh more students have joined the government and aided schools this academic year. The rise in the number of students in public schools is 6.8 lakh in the last four years. As per details collected by the department through Sampoorna software, 8,170 students have joined class I in government and aided schools till December 28, 43,789 students in class V and 35,606 students in class VIII. The minister said the improvement in infrastructure in these schools led to an increase in the number of students and the number is expected to go up further.
Several CBSE schools have reported a significant drop in the number of students post-pandemic as it has affected the financial stability of a lot of families. The actual number of attrition in private schools will be known only when CBSE/ ICSE schools reopen. As per rules, students of CBSE/ICSE schools in the state can take admission in government or aided schools without obtaining a transfer certificate.