Students await temperature checks at the Parvati Girls Hindu College in Debe. (Image: KRISTIAN DE SILVA)
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Some parents looked teary eyed while others smiled and waved as they dropped off their children for school for the first time in almost two years on Monday.

“It’s bittersweet,” Linda Doodnath said as she watched her daughter walk through the gates of the Parvati Girls Hindu College in Debe.

She added, “We may be worried, but we understand they have to go to school.” Her husband Rajin Doodnath said, “It’s been two years and we have to learn to live with the new normal.”

Geeta Kanhai echoed similar sentiments as she took to put her daughter’s backpack from the trunk of her car outside the college.

” I’m not worried. She is mature and she knows what she has to do, sanitize, wear her masks and remain socially distanced,” Kanhai said. Her daughter Vijanti smiled saying she was happy to be in school.

Inside the compound, all students were given temperature checks before they were allowed to enter. Security officers and other staff were present to guide the students to their classrooms.

Students await temperature checks at the Parvati Girls Hindu College in Debe. (Image: KRISTIAN DE SILVA)

At Debe Secondary School at the M2 Ring Road, similar checks were being done.

One parent who asked not to be named or photographed stood by the fence, her eyes filled with tears.

“I’m worried. I know the virus is spreading and I am wondering if sending him was the best thing to do,” she whispered. She stood by the fence long after he disappeared into the school building.

Another parent consoled her and eventually, she drove off.

Another parent Karima Adhar who waved goodbye to her son Sameer said she was happy to send him to school.

” He was very excited to meet his friends. Since Standard Five, he has not been in school, and he knows his friends from online but has never met them. I don’t feel worried because I know he understands safety and he was very prepared to go to school. I am glad he is not one of those children who just want to stay home because they need interaction at this stage of their lives,” Adhar said.

Guardian Media will bring you updates on school attendance during the course of the day.