As schools across India are reopening and students try to resume their education, The Federal attempts to get answers to some out-of-syllabus questions to know how children are coping, what their parents and teachers have to say and, most importantly, what all has changed since March 2020.
Where did the children go?
It's been 19 months since headmaster PR Chowdury last heard the words 'good morning, sir' in-person. An eerie stillness pervades the corridors of the Kanaknagar SD Institution in West Bengal's Hingalganj that once echoed with the rush of giggling students jostling for space. Now that the government-aided school is set to reopen on November 16, Chowdury is anxious if the silence will continue. Chowdury's job is not simple. He has to first look for his students, locate them and then bring them back to their classrooms.
"Many of our students have left the state in search of work to distant places. We now need to identify and bring them back to classrooms,” says Chowdury. While only about 30 per cent of the students of this co-educational school attended the online classes, many of these absentee students dropped out of schools. Several others could not attend the online classes due to the lack of access to devices.
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