More than 5,000 schools in four flood-affected districts of Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram reopened after a week on Monday, December 11, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
In places like Nazrethpet in Tiruvallur district, around 25 students were forced to take the help of boats to reach their schools, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
Headmasters and teachers across all the schools in the districts were involved in seeking details of books, notebooks and educational kit items that the students lost in the floods. Teachers in the schools said while they were able to provide books for the lower classes, there is a shortage of books for Class X to XII.
“There are nearly 2,200 students in our school and attendance was more than 80% on Monday. We require more than 80 sets of books for higher secondary classes,” said officials at the government higher secondary school at MMDA.
Water stagnated on the premises to a depth of three feet during the rain, and volunteers and school staff began the cleaning work on Wednesday.
“The school was filled with slush and there were dead rats on the premises. Though the school staff had kept the records on benches anticipating flood, they were also affected as water level was very high,” a volunteer from the Students’ Federation of India, who was involved in the cleaning process, said. Many of the students also said that their houses were affected and cleaning work is still on.
Four schools, including two in Poonamallee, were closed in the four districts as officials said water oozes out of the ground even if it is cleared. In Nazarathpet, several areas including Yamuna Nagar had water stagnation to three feet.
“This is a low-lying area and only 1.5 kilometres from Chembarambakkam lake. There are around 30 families in the inundated areas. The district administration has provided us with a boat which we are using to supply essential items to the families. We used this boat to take students to schools and bring them back. The water has receded from eight-feet height to three-feet and we expect it to reduce in the next day or two,” an elected representative from Nazarathpet said.
Meanwhile, School Education Director G Arivoli said additional books from other districts have been brought to these four districts for the students. “We ensured that more than 5,000 schools in these districts are reopened working on a war footing. Across the four districts, teachers took up the responsibility and cleaned the schools with help from volunteers because of which reopening was possible,” Arivoli said.