Educational Telangana

COVID-19: Private schools in Telangana may find social distancing an uphill task

HYDERABAD: Even after collecting exorbitant fees, private schools in Telangana are unsure of implementing social distancing norms among students as they think it would be too much of a bother for them.

According to the Telangana Recognised School Management Association (TRSMA) organising president, Sreedhar Reddy, there is no plan as to how the schools are going to maintain social distancing among students once they reopen.

“Even in corporate schools, where the annual fee is over Rs 70,000, managements are undecided as to how to enforce social distancing once they reopen, though no date has been announced yet,” Sreedhar Reddy said.

There are about 20,000 private schools in Telangana but the problem would be worse in over 15,000 budget private schools, he said. “In these schools, the fee is less and maintaining social distancing could be a problem. Besides, these are not financially as sound as the corporate ones. So, it is even more difficult to begin the academic year online without the government’s support,” Sreedhar added.

According to him, the admission rate in private schools, particularly the budget ones, drastically dropped due to COVID-19 pandemic. “Only 60-70 per cent of parents paid the fees. We are worried that if this continues the dropout rate in budget private schools may increase,” the TRSMA president said.

According to him, corporate school chains somehow started holding classes online but it would surely be difficult to open the schools even after two months.

Meanwhile, official sources in the school education department said the State government does not plan to reopen schools any time now amid the rising COVID-19 cases. The government did not permit online classes, yet some private schools started it.

Clueless about implementation

Private schools are unsure of implementing social distancing norms among students as they think it would be a hassle for them. Also, they do not have a plan in place to enforce the norms once they reopen