All’s well in Nuh — but low attendance at schools tells a different story | Delhi News

All’s well in Nuh — but low attendance at schools tells a different story | Delhi News

With shops reopening for business and police personnel conspicuous by their absence on the streets, all seems well in Nuh a month after the communal violence that broke out during a religious yatra on July 31 — except at its schools.

Several students are yet to return to class after educational institutions reopened on August 11, leading to a drop in attendance that has teachers worried. The town has five higher secondary schools, government and private, and several other schools.

For instance, at Mohammad Yasin Khan government school — it has 260 students from classes I to X and 13 teachers — just 12-13 students were marked present in total on Thursday. Moreover, of the 19 students registered in class XII, only around 10 had come in on a day in July.

Said Kaab Ali (27), a social science teacher who is the school in-charge, “The drop in July was due to the fact that they had their summer vacation in June, and many were lackadaisical in the first few weeks.”

By August, teachers grew apprehensive. Towards the month-end, only four students in class X, of 22 registered, showed up.

“We called their parents, and (it appears) most older students fled their homes. When police action started, fearing arrests, many went to stay at their relatives in other parts of Mewat,” said Ali, adding that he expects attendance till the secondary level to pick up in September.

The number of students taking admission to the school, one of the oldest in the region, has also been low, with zero new applications for class X in August.

Also at the school are three children whose homes were razed by the government as part of a demolition drive of “illegal encroachments” following the violence.

One of them, Ayaan, used to stay with his uncle, Jamshed (34), on the third floor of a building that also housed Sahara restaurant — among those demolished. The boy left Nuh for his village in Silkhoh, over 10 km away from his school, and has not come back yet. His cousin, 13-year-old Hakim, a Class 8 student at a private school in Nuh, returned to class after a month on Friday.

Jamshed, who was called for questioning by police after allegations that a mob had pelted stones from the terrace of the hotel, said: “When the violence broke out, we quickly left the next day for our village. They didn’t inform us about the demolition; I came to know about it only the next day.” His savings as well as belongings of his five school-going children all went crashing down with the building.

On Thursday, father and son were in Nuh town looking to buy a few books and clothes before his school commenced. “Hakim will live with my friend in town until I find a rented house here. Studies of the rest of my children could wait,” he said.

Hakim, on his part, said he likes it better in Nuh and not the village as there are “more facilities” in the town.
At the Government Model Sanskriti Senior Secondary School Nuh, newly affiliated with the CBSE, drop-outs and low turnout have been an issue for some time, especially after a rejig of teachers and education board pattern.

With a strength of 450, the school has children from classes VI to XII. In July, around 80% of those registered were present regularly. This plummeted to below 50% in August.

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“Before August 20, very few children were coming to class; we checked in on those who were not showing up regularly. Parents were reluctant to send their children to school, but they said they would send them in September. For classes IX and XI, we have to begin enrollment to get students registered under the CBSE, but it has been delayed. We keep calling parents and announcing to students in assemblies that we are there for them,” said Kavita Rani (39), an English teacher at the school.

Meanwhile, Hindu Senior Secondary School, one of the prominent private schools in town with a strength of 600 students from classes I to XII, showed a better performance.

“Nuh is one of the most backward districts in the country with high illiteracy and unemployment. When there is a wedding or a festival, attendance drops by 10%. The violence is a double whammy in a system already in shambles. In July, we had 95% attendance while in August, in the initial few days, it was 40%. Attendance slowly picked up to around 80% by the month-end,” said Sanjay Kumar, a member of the school management board.

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