Online classes back, decision stirs debate

The sudden suspension of offline classes for students of classes 6 to 9 in Karnataka has given rise to a mixed debate among academicians and parents. Apart from this, on Thursday, primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar also clarified that physical classes for grades 10, I PU and II PU will continue to be held.

Although parents have welcomed the move, school managements are against the decision. D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said, “We believe that children are safe in school campuses. It is unfortunate that the decision was being taken at a time when we were preparing to conduct exams. There were no exams last year and this year too, it might be the same situation. The government should have waited at least till the exams got over. We are following SoPs and we want the education department to give us time to conduct exams.”

Lokesh Talikatte, president, Recognised Unaided Private Schools Association (RUPSA), termed it as a ‘black year for education’ as this decision will hit students academically. Meanwhile, Associated Managements has written to Kumar stating that they will immediately conduct the exams before schools shut completely.

Meanwhile, several schools have decided to even conduct online exams. Mansoor Ali Khan, Member, Board of Management, DPS, said, “We will shift to online mode based on the government’s decision.” Nooraine Fazal, CEO of Inventure Academy, said, “After due deliberation and discussion, we have decided to conduct pre-final exams online due to covid.”

Looking at the current situation, I don’t think there will be full-fledged offline classes in the upcoming academic session

–Satish Gowda, a parent

Welcoming the suspension of offline classes, Satish Gowda, a parent said, “With a surge in cases, it is ideal for kids to stay at home. We are also seeing covid clusters forming in schools and many students are testing positive. Looking at the current situation, I don’t think there will be full-fledged offline classes in the upcoming academic session too.”

Many students studying in PU classes have also demanded suspension of offline classes citing a rise in cases. However, reacting to this, the education department said they have already clarified that attendance was not mandatory and hence, students can prefer to attend either online or offline classes based on their comfort.

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Sagar Biswas

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