While Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the academic year for schools should commence in June and both offline and online options should be used for the purpose, the pending decision on restarting junior colleges has left Class XII students worried about the completion of their syllabus.
Adding to their concerns is the fact that there has been little or no communication from their respective colleges.
Usually, the curriculum of Class XII exams is completed by November, after which the students appear for college-conducted prelims and use the time for self-study. The board exams are conducted in February.
Given that most colleges cater to both junior college and degree students, the students assume that they will open post August, as per an announcement made by Higher Education Minister Uday Samant. On May 8, based on UGC guidelines and report by a state-level committee, Samant had announced that the new academic year for university students will begin from September 1.
But by September, junior colleges will be left with little time to complete the syllabus. “Those who have enrolled in private coaching classes are still better off … those from poor backgrounds are completely reliant on colleges and schools for completing the state board syllabus,” said Nivan Sadh, a student of HR College, Mumbai.
Most colleges so far haven’t begun online classes and have had little communication with students regarding the future course of learning. KC College student Rishabh Sharma said, “We have begun studying on our own but many are awaiting the government announcement on abridged syllabus.”
When contacted, KC College principal Hemlata Bagla said, “We will release recorded lectures online from June 15. We will also create WhatsApp groups and allot teachers to mentor students.”
Meanwhile, some colleges, including St Xavier’s, will begin classes only when the institutes reopen. “A survey regarding online education found that 20 per cent of the students and teachers did not have internet connectivity or required gadgets. So, we plan to teach after the college reopens,” said principal Rajendra Shinde.
Director of Secondary Education Dinkar Patil said the department has been discussing the idea of abridged syllabus. “It is in process and we are seeing what can be done since reducing the syllabus will bring about change in the evaluation pattern. Entrance exams will also need to be looked at. We have already had the first meeting to discuss the issue,” he added.
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