Uttar Pradesh: Tiny-tots welcomed with tilak as primary schools reopen after a year
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Lucknow: Closed for nearly a year due to Covid-19 pandemic, primary schools in Uttar Pradesh up to Class V finally reopened on Monday under strict Covid-19 protocol.

All primary schools were declared closed in March 2020 after Covid-19 outbreak in the state. The decision to reopen them was taken after seeking consent from parents and making all arrangements, particularly in rural areas.

The state government reopened colleges and schools in a phased manner. Colleges for Classes 9 to 12 were opened in November 2020 in view of their Board exams while online classes continued. Schools for Classes 6 to 8 were reopened on February 10 while primary classes up to V were reopened from Monday.

The state education department was making all the necessary arrangements for the past one week to reopen primary schools under strict Covid-19 protocol of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and sanitized classrooms.

Some of the schools in the state capital Lucknow welcomed tiny-tots by putting ‘tilak’ on their foreheads, others showered rose petals, made rangolis and decorated classrooms with colorful balloons to welcome students after a year.

Children were only allowed inside schools after sanitizing their hands, wearing masks and taking their temperature through thermal scanners.

Some of the schools also distributed kits containing masks, small sanitizer bottles with instructions to follow guidelines. Only 50 per cent attendance and twice a week classes were allowed in every primary school in the state.

Days for classes were fixed on odd and even basis. Classes I and V on Mondays and Thursdays, Classes 2 and IV on Tuesdays and Fridays and Class 3 on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Though a few parents remained apprehensive following a spike in Covid-19 cases in other states but after seeing the arrangements they have agreed to send their wards from next week.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath himself visited a school in Lucknow to check the arrangements and spend some time with children to instill confidence. He exchanged a few words with children who were surprised to find the Chief Minister with them.

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