Kerala schools reopen just as monsoon sets in

Thiruvananthapuram, June 3 (IANS) For decades, schools in Kerala have reopened after the summer break just as the southwest monsoon begins. Monday was no different with about four lakh children in the state making their way to school in the pouring rain.

“Oh, this is just too bad. The rains should have stayed away on this Monday morning, our first day back in school,” said Abel John, a student of Class 2 in the state capital.

As all state government-run schools reopened Monday, close to four lakh students returned to school after their summer break; many four-year-olds also had their first day in school.

The state government organised a gala opening day programme at Kozhikode, where State Education Minister Abdu Rabb distributed kits to new entrants.

India Meteorological Department declared two days ago that the monsoon had set in over the state, and the rains have since been beating down heavily.

“Kids find themselves drenched by the time they get to school. But what is the way out?” asked Mary Thomas, a school teacher in Kottayam, as she got ready to leave home for school with her daughter.

Kerala, the state with the highest literacy rate in the country, has 12,644 schools. Of these, 4,620 are state-owned, while 7,161 are state-supported. There are 863 unaided schools. In the last fiscal, 39.86 lakh students were enrolled in schools in the state.

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