Telangana schools to remain shut till Jan 30

Earlier, the state government declared holidays for schools, colleges from January 8 to 16

The government on Sunday extended the holidays for all educational institutions, except medical colleges in the state, from January 16 to 30, leaving parents, teachers and students worried about their education. Most of the government school teachers are against this decision and want to get back to physical classes soon.

The Telangana Recognised School Management Association (TRSMA) and the Telangana State United Teachers' Federation (TSUTF) are among other organisations that want the government to withdraw the announcement.

These teachers’ organisations, a few school principals and teachers are highlighting the importance of education and believe that if students get back to online mode, they will hardly be able to learn or concentrate. The government teachers said there was hardly 30 per cent attendance observed in online classes. “Why isn’t the government shutting down other places like malls, theatres and restaurants that can spread the virus and why only schools are targeted?” questioned Ch. Ravi, state general secretary, TSUTF. Teachers believe that as per scientists, the effect of virus on a child is minimal and when other places function, schools too can function by taking total precautions.

They also want the government to extend the academic year and conduct the final SSC examinations in April.

The poor and the lower middle-class find it difficult to study online even if they have access to smartphones. Kavita M., housekeeper who has a seven-year-old daughter said the teachers muted the classes online and just finished topics quickly, giving no time for students to understand the concepts or even ask doubts. The students were given a lot of homework, which eventually were done by parents, she said, adding that during the second wave, due to shortage of money, she could not pay the fees and her child’s access to online education was stopped.

Private school teachers who pay attention to the lower middle-class students said YouTube links were prepared for children where classes were recorded and students could have access to it 24/7. Hrithik, principal of a private school, said even though there were TV channels through which students could study, the topics were not covered in-depth and only the gist of the topics were covered. “We recorded classes and posted them on YouTube for our students. Of course, attendance cannot be monitored, but we conduct zoom meetings every week and try to make sure students are with us,” said Hrithik.

Parents are worried when it comes to the children who are in primary education. They said that the older ones, (secondary education) were now used to online classes and were aware of the seriousness of this virus, however, those in pre-primary, LKG and UKG were really lacking basic knowledge and were unable to concentrate.

Eswari V., mother of two and a psychologist by profession said her children were improving with physical classes, but shifting to online mode again was hampering their growth where they were starting to lose concentration. However, Eswari added that since it was the peak of the third wave, she would like her children to stay home, but would also request the government to start vaccination for children of all ages as she would not mind sending her kids to school once the situation got a little better.

A few private schools will continue with their slip tests and pre-boards (CBSE), but this comes with a twist. This time a few schools have prepared a ‘test kit’ for students wherein the parents are supposed to collect these kits from the schools which include answer sheets and question papers for the students to write the exam. These answer sheets are later sent back to the school by the parents and are graded.

Or, online tests will be conducted where students can write the answers within the allotted time. The marks obtained via these tests may also be considered as the final marks for the concerned academic year if the situation worsens, according to the principal of a private school.

Next Story