Parents and private school managements, who attended the meeting conducted by the minister and education department officials on reopening of schools, also appealed for the current academic year to be extended till June-July.
“It is not a great idea to start physical classes for students of class 9 and onwards. They are more prone to the virus and their safety and security is at risk,” said Venkat Sainath K, joint secretary, Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA). He said that the state should direct all teaching and non-teaching staff to undergo the Covid-19 test and allow only those uninfected by the virus to attend school.
Members of HSPA also appealed for a reduction in fee in view of the pandemic and loss of income of parents and suggested that the fee be decided in proportion to the salaries and rents paid by private schools. They also demanded that the state expedite the constitution of the Fee Regulation Committee.
Urging the state to consider teachers as frontline workers, members of the Independent School Managements Association (ISMA) and Telangana Recognized School Managements Association (TRSMA), meanwhile, asked for them to be vaccinated in the first phase.
“There are no backup teachers, especially for classes 9 to class 11, in many schools. So, it is important that we keep our teachers safe,” said KV Praveen Raju, president, ISMA adding that the academic year be extended at least till June as exams for IB and Cambridge schools are scheduled then.
Apart from this TRSMA members demanded that promotion of students to the next class be done based on the performance in assessments and also asked for attendance to be made mandatory — either for physical or virtual classes.