As Schools Resume, An Academic Session Washed Out in Chennai Floods

CHENNAI:  In a city which is still recovering from loss of life and property caused by incessant rains, children in Chennai have resumed their schools. But for Sri Indu, a class 10 student who studies in a government school, it’s not the same without her books.

Sri Indu lives in Teyanmpet which is one of the busiest localities in central Chennai and which was 10 feet underwater till last week from the worst rains in the state in 100 years.

In her class room in St Ebba’s School, Indu now shares her friend’s text book. “I don’t know how I would manage. I have to photocopy all my notes from my friends,” she said.

Afzal a student of class 12 has to prepare for his board exams with no books or notes and an inconsistent power supply at home.

“I don’t know how I will study for board exams. Often there are power cuts. The government should help. They should at least postpone public exams,” said Afzal.

For children in schools funded by the government, the state had promised free books and uniform. Textbooks are available online for free download, but accessing the internet is not an option for many.

Most schools have lost over three weeks of the academic session. Teachers are also worried about how children will cope with their traumatic experiences. “They don’t even want to talk about anything that they’ve lost everything. They are still scared. We are planning for counselling,” said Emily Sujirtha Titus, Principal, CSI St Ebbas Matriculation Higher Secondary School

The Principal of Akshayah Global School Ruth Anand assures that the student will not be presssurised. “We would work during the weekend. I wouldn’t punish them for this delay,” he said.

For the children who have gone through a great ordeal in the last few weeks, to get back to school is a relief. But with no books and exams fast approaching it could get difficult for them and schools are trying to keep them off the burden.