After the recent government notification on the SOP for schools and complete ban on online teaching till Class II for schools across all boards, several stakeholders have urged the government to reconsider the decision, whereas others have asked for further clarification. While the state education department has said students of Classes I and II can view educational television programmes, principals have said concepts taught here will not be in accordance to the curricula.
Educationists have said children will lose out on the bond with teachers and classmates, and have asked for at least half an hour of online interaction.
In a letter to School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, Early Childhood Association and Association for Primary Education and Research have advocated for 60 minutes of video-chat with teachers. “We aren’t sure if parents will send children to school once they open. Even if they do, it would mean that five to six months of learning year have already been lost and schools will be forced to club a lot of topics together,” read the letter.
The department has recommended that children should watch educational programmes, which will also mean that children will be glued to TV screens. A parent, Siddharth Ingle, said, “The ban doesn’t serve any purpose because children today grow up with gadgets. Moreover, it will be difficult for us as working parents to take out time to make kids study after the lockdown is lifted.”
Some principals have pointed out the lack of clarity over whether this ban applies to live online sessions or to pre-recorded videos as well. Jamnabai Narsee School, affiliated with the ICSE, was sending pre-recorded lectures to all classes. “Pre-recorded online sessions can be viewed on television. Moreover, most parents don’t know what content needs to be taught, and may not have the required time to teach,” said Principal Zeenat Bhojabhoy.
Gaikwad on Tuesday announced that the department planned to release the board results for Classes X and XII between mid-July and July-end.
Talking about the recent SOP for physical reopening of schools in green zones, Gaikwad said a separate SOP will be released on guidelines for schools in red zones, where physical attendance and age of teachers will be considered.
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