A week after offline classes resumed in Karnataka schools for Classes IX to XII (including pre-university colleges) after nearly 18 months since they were shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials noted the attendance was most in rural areas and least in urban parts of the state, including Bengaluru.
According to a statistic issued by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education, Belagavi Chikkodi education district recorded the highest attendance for Class IX students (90.74%) while the same for Class X in Tumakuru Madhugiri was 89.31% as on August 31.
However, the least was recorded at Bengaluru North for both Classes IX (34.73%) and X (38.21%). Other districts that reported less than 50% attendance were Yadgiri and Kalaburagi. The state average attendance recorded for Class IX and X were at 64.55% and 65.83%, respectively. The same on August 23, the first day when offline classes resumed, were 19.56% and 21.08%, respectively.
Further, the Education Department has noted that over 33% schools are yet to begin classes across the state, mostly run by private managements. Clarifying this, D Shashikumar, general secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) said, “Most of them comprise schools that follow the CBSE syllabus and are run by big managements. Parents of students studying in these schools seem to be hesitant to send their wards yet as opposed to those in budget private schools and government schools.”
While attendance is marked only for offline classes at high schools at present, pre-university colleges (equivalent to Classes XI and XII) have been recording attendance for both offline and online sessions.
Offline attendance at PU colleges is at 36% and 34% for first and second-year students, respectively. Incidentally, an official from the Department of Pre-University Education said, “It is highly worrisome that a large number of students are neither attending offline nor logging in to online sessions. We have asked PU colleges to look into this matter and submit a report in the same, which will then be submitted to the minister.”
Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh had earlier sought a report on the falling attendance at PU colleges even as attendance grew in high schools.