Wed, 21 Oct 2020

Kathmandu [Nepal], September 29 (ANI): Amid the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent rules, the playgrounds in Nepal schools are now seen with children donning masks and maintaining social distance.

A new academic session that usually starts from May or June got pushed by months this year due to the pandemic. Now some of the local bodies around Kathmandu have given permission to schools to open their gates for students abiding by the health protocol.

"During the lockdown, students were deprived of their right to study. They went onto the path of wrong deeds, depletion in reading and learning habits. After the parents voiced their concerns and getting a similar notice from the Kageshwori Manohara Municipality, we have started the classes from Sunday in two shifts following all the health protocols," Jit Bahadur Basnet, Executive Director at Vidyanath Boarding School in Kageshwori Manahara-6 of Kathmandu told ANI.

The school, which runs in two shifts from 6 am (first shift) and 11 am (second shift) to reduce congestion of students, runs a temperature check at the entrance using a thermal gun and sanitise their hands. Before the start of the session, the school administration has been disinfecting the premises, Basnet claimed.

It is one of few schools in the Kathmandu Valley which resumed physical classes after seven months when virtual classes didn't go well for all students due to economic and technological constraints.

"I am extremely happy as I am able to continue the studies. Previously our studies were all halted and there was confusion about whether Secondary Education Examination will be conducted or not. Now we are able to go ahead with our studies," Sonia Ghalan, a Secondary Level final year student at Vidyanath Boarding School told ANI.

The Kageshwori Manohara Municipality has issued a notice to all the schools in their jurisdiction to start preparing to conduct physical classes starting from Friday but would need to abide by health as well as regulatory protocols issued by them.

Vidyanath Boarding School, open from Sunday, is permitted to operate for limited hour classes splitting the students into two groups and conduct classes for a specific period of time.

"We don't take long classes either, classes usually run for two to three hours and three days a week. Classes for senior classes (VII to X) go on for three hours while juniors study for two hours in a day," Basnet clarified.

Nepal government is still mulling over plans and drafts to resume educational institutions while some local bodies around the nation already have given permission to begin classes. Many such institutions are reeling under shortage of textbooks and other educational materials.

Besides, it is feared that a large number of female students might discontinue their studies after all restrictions are eased or lifted off.

A survey by 'Room to Read' literacy group has shown that many girls across Nepal helping their parents may not rejoin schools.

The survey conducted in Banke, Bardiya, Nuwakot and Tanahun Districts through June, 45 per cent girls reported their household income had fallen due to the pandemic as their members had lost their jobs.

Another 16 per cent girls said that they had stopped studying at home since March and are now hesitant to return to school as they will have difficulty in catching up and passing important gate-keeping exams.

Amongst them, seven per cent has admitted that they would probably not return back when the school reopens, the survey stated. (ANI)

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