Disinfecting schools post elections a tough proposition for headmasters

After a day’s holiday on Wednesday following conduct of elections, schools that accounted for most of the polling booths will be resuming in-person classes for Plus Two students on Thursday, amid fear among parents about safety of their wards.

Since the conduct of classes and the disinfection activities will take place simultaneously over the next few days, parents are concerned. The school heads have been entrusted with the responsibility of removing the voter awareness posters and thoroughly disinfecting the classrooms and toilets.

“There is a compelling case for involving the health department for carrying out the disinfection of the premises of educational institutions since this time, there are visible signs of used hand gloves and masks lying discarded in unhygienic settings,” a senior teacher said, acknowledging the fear of parents.

Talks of COVID-19 virus infection in mutated forms have, no doubt, accentuated the fears of the parents, he pointed out.

In Tiruchi district, each of the little over 2,100 schools that functioned as polling centres witnessed footfall of voters ranging from hundreds to even a few thousands.

The School Education Department is learnt to have provided the materials required for disinfecting the premises for every school.

But, many schools face shortage of running water without which thorough disinfection of high-touch surfaces cannot be carried out as per the Standard Operating Procedure specified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a headmaster admitted.

In particular, the fear of infection through the toilets that have been difficult to maintain in the absence of running water persists, he said.

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