The daily average of COVID-19 cases at 300-plus in the last few days is worrying officials as well as people in the district as Deepavali celebrations are nearing. On Monday, the overall tally of positive cases in the district crossed the 81,000-mark, with 800 casualties.
By Saturday, the number of government teachers who tested positive to the virus stood at 232. The number of students pursuing the 9th and 10th classes is about 70,000, of which 6,266 students underwent COVID test and 39 tested positive. The attendance is also said to be below 50% in the government schools, and much less in private institutions.
Attendance among girls is dwindling in government schools in rural areas reportedly owing to poor maintenance of toilets.
Some headmasters observed that a majority of the parents were unwilling to send their children to schools. “Though students are not punctual, we are not taking it seriously. As usual, there is a problem with mid-day meal, with considerable wastage of food as fewer students are taking it,” a headmaster in Chittoor said.
Teachers who have crossed the age of 55 and those who are close to superannuation, and suffering from diabetes and hypertension, are a worried lot to mingle freely with students, besides taking classes. Majority of the teachers who tested positive are from urban areas, but travelling daily to their places of work. A number of women teachers reluctant to board buses have to depend on their colleagues or family members to shuttle between schools and residences on two-wheelers.