As the water level recedes in Kerala, most of the schools across the state were reopened on Wednesday. However, the schools were closed for 10 days due to Oram break which coincided with the worst floods in a century that ravaged the state, turning many schools into refugee centers. A huge number of students were languishing in the relief camps until the other day, returned to their classes for an emotional reunion with fellow students and teachers.
Education Minister C. Raveendranath, a former college professor, told the media on Wednesday that the floods had affected 650 schools. Barring 211, all others had reopened. "Today there will be no classes. Instead, it will be more of an emotional counseling as a good number of these young minds have suffered on account of the rains and floods," the Minister said."When I visited many relief camps in the past week, several students came up to me asking if they will be able to return to schools."
The state of Kerala has faced the most catastrophic floods due to incessant rain since August 9 which left 1.4 million in over 3,000 relief camps, most of which were schools. According to the reports, man schools in Kuttanadu area in Alappuzha district remained closed as a massive cleaning operation was on.
However in Idukki, one of the worst affected places, all the 458 schools reopened."One school functioned from a nearby church hall. It was only last evening that many of the schools were cleaned up," said an education department official.
Likewise, Malappuram and Kozhikode also saw schools opening."In Kozhikode, there were relief camps in 160 schools and all of them are functioning," said an official. In every district, authorities have started holding counseling sessions for volunteers who will, in turn, give emotional support to the students. At Chalakkudy in Thrissur, even after the entire school was cleaned up by volunteers, the students engaged in another round of cleaning on Wednesday.
"I have lost everything and this uniform I am wearing was given to me on Tuesday by authorities. All my books and certificates were washed away," complained a Class 9 student. At a primary school in Chengannur, the headmistress said the school was still under water. "All the students have lost their text books.
"In Wayanad and Kannur too, schools began functioning again but attendances was thin in some."The road leading to the school has been damaged. So most students had to travel an extra four kilometers to reach the school," said the anguished parent of a student in Wayanad.
Kochi airport, which had been rendered non-functional since August 14 due to flooding and torrential rains in Kerala, reopened around 2 pm today. Indigo flight 667 from Ahmadabad to Kochi, was the first flight in two weeks to land at the CIAL. A number of 33 flights are scheduled to arrive and 30 others are scheduled to depart from the airport on Wednesday. The number includes both domestic and international flights.