Source: The Times of India
July 15 became the new August 15 for tenth grader Dnyaneshwar Kale as he returned eagerly to school in a village in Beed carrying a sanitizer bottle, placed himself on a partner-less bench and teased through his mask with his long-time-no-see friends. "I have never understood freedom better," said Kale in rural Marathi when teachers asked some of the students for a speech. "The past year has been excruciating," he added. "There were times I wondered if we would have to stay home all our lives." Given that rural students suffered a more noticeable loss of learning during lockdown
due to lack of access to mobile phones or network connectivity issues, it was inevitable that a sensitive chatter of relief would ensue. On July 15, after the state government's nod for students from grades 8 to 12 to attend physical classes in Covid-free areas, nearly 6000 schools reopened with careful planning to keep the children safe.
If Aurangabad's Shri Goraksha school now conducts all-female batches on three days of the week and all male-batches on the rest, Nandurbar's AD Deore school has resumed in a new open-air avatar. A blackboard has been strung up against a tree and benches placed at a six-feet distance in the open space outside the school.
Also read: FAQ: When Will Schools Reopen In India? What Are the Different Rules?