Coaching institutes, private schools defy govt order, open hostels

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Nov 17: Despite the government’s notification for continued closure of hostels, residential schools, coaching institutes and a few private schools in the capital have opened their hostels for students.

Some schools in the capital have opened hostels for higher secondary students, and some parents have raised concern over health issues and proper maintenance of the Covid standard operating procedures (SOP).

A parent also informed that they were asked to get their wards tested for Covid-19 before coming to the hostel, and to produce the test results.

However, school authorities claimed that it was “safer to allow students to stay in the hostels, instead of continuing to mingle with too many people outside and then attending classes and mingling with their classmates.”

“Those who have tested negative are the only ones being allowed to stay in the hostels. If we can allow sit-in classes, where everyone comes in after mingling with innumerable people outside, why should not we consider allowing hostels to open, as well – they are closed to outsiders and are safer. Nobody knows when Covid-19 is going to leave. For how long will we shut down schools and hostels? Students from outside the capital are the ones who mostly require staying in hostels. How will they attend classes if hostels are not open? We are following all the SOPs and have to live with the new normal,” school authorities said.

Responding to the concerns of the parents, All Arunachal Private Schools’ Association president James Techi Tara informed that the association is following the norms of the government and has not allowed schools to open hostels.

At the same time, he said that “the schools which parents have claimed have opened their hostels must have undertaken certain precautionary measures and strategies. No school will take the risk of putting their students in danger. If a specific school has opened its hostel, the parents should enquire about the preventive measures the school is taking to ensure that there is no outbreak of Covid-19 there.”

Education Minister Taba Tedir had announced the opening of schools for Classes 10 and 12 from 16 November onwards. As per the notification issued by the directorate of secondary education on 6 November, “Class 1 to 8, 9 and 11, residential schools, hostels and coaching institutes shall not open till further order.”