Friday, February 26

Bihar govt to distribute 73 lakh face masks among students as schools set to reopen from January 4

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With barely a week left for reopening of schools for students of Class 9 to 12, all government and private schools have geared up for making necessary arrangements and staggering Covid-19 safety protocols for resuming regular classes.

As a part of safety measures directed by the crisis management group, Bihar education department is set to procure more than 73 lakh face masks in order to provide two face masks to each student of Class 9 to 12 studying in government schools

According to data available with education department, there are around 36.61 lakh students enrolled in Class 9 to 12. Of them, 3.17 lakh students belong to Patna.

Sanjay Kumar, principal secretary of education department, said, “We have published class wise enrolment list of each district to asses quantity of face masks required at government schools. Based on enrolment figure of last academic year, we have estimated that 36,61,942 students are enrolled in Class 9 to 12 across 38 districts. Each student will get two face masks free of cost which implies more than 73 lakh face masks are required for meeting the need.”

“All district education offices (DEOs) have been instructed to procure required quantity of face masks till December 31 from Jeevika group and submit invoices at education department office for reimbursement. DEOs have to ensure distribution of masks at high and secondary schools before January 4”, he said.

Meanwhile, private schools are busy in chalking out strategy and equipping advance infrastructures for thermal screening and sanitisation.

“We have already procured thermal screening machine. We are looking for installation of automatic soap dispenser for hand sanitisation. Students will be called on odd-even roll number basis. Cleaning and sanitation of classrooms, laboratory and library is going on”, said Rajiv Ranjan Sinha, principal of Baldwin Academy.

Officials of several government schools cited that water tanks need purification due to closure of school for 10 months. “Tap water is not clean in our school. We bring water from home. In the absence of clean water, students will face difficulty in washing hands and drinking water”, said a senior teacher of Gardanibagh Girls’ High School.