AHMEDABAD: According to the estimates of some schools and associations, institutions in the east are recording 80-85% attendance as compared to the schools in the west where the attendance is 25-30% of the total approved class strength. Currently, Covid-19 restrictions apply to schools. Contrary to the notion that the western part, home to a large number of popular schools, has a higher number of students attending classes in person, the reverse is true today.
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Hitesh Patel, the president of Ahmedabad Self-Finance School Management Association, said that Shreeji Vidyalaya which he runs in Bapunagar in the east is drawing 90% in-person attendance.
“Most schools east of the river are registering 80-85% attendance,” Patel said. “Unlike in the west, the penetration of tuition classes is less here and the schools have made a lot of effort to draw children for on-campus studies.”
In the west, some institutions such as Prakash Higher Secondary School in Vastrapur haven’t re-opened for physical classroom studies four months after the government allowed them to do so. They offer online classes.
Mrugen Shah, the principal of Prakash School, said none of the parents are ready to send their children for in-person studies.
Schools in Gujarat re-opened in July for in-person studies for Class 6 to Class 12 students and in line with Covid-19 restrictions, only 50% of the total classroom strength is allowed. In the east, most schools lie in the vicinity of residential areas so commuting is not as major an issue as it is in the west.
Raju Desai, the principal of Uma Vidyalaya in Nikol in the east, said that the attendance level has reached 90%.
“We use the odd-even formula for calling students to school,” Desai said. “Transportation is not an issue here as many students live close to their schools.”
Indrani Banerjee, the principal of HB Kapadia School in Memnagar in the west, said that only 25-30% are attending her school.
“Children are by now used to online studies and hence they do not want to take the risk of going to school,” she said. “Transportation is a major issue for parents and children. After the first term exam in October, the picture will be clear as the exams are to be held in the pen-and-paper format.”
Pratiksha Parekh, the principal of Tripada International School in Ghatlodia in the west, said that about 60% of the parents have given written consent to allow their children to attend school.
“But they are very reluctant to send them to school and this can be seen from the attendance level which is 30-40%,” Parekh said.