Online or offline courses? Take a vote



By Hamza Irfan Qazi

Schools across the city now use a democratic way to decide whether they are offline or online classes should be organized for students after Deepavali. Surveys and questionnaires are being prepared and school principals will decide whether face-to-face lessons will be held at the school based on the majority of responses.

Primary and secondary schools have reportedly taken note of the percentage of parents willing to send their children back to school for in-person lessons. If this percentage is in the majority, they resume offline course. Some schools also conduct more detailed surveys of parents and take their contributions into account.

“We sent questionnaires to parents. Depending on the answer, we decide whether or not to reopen. If the numbers are over 65 to 70 percent, it makes sense that we have face-to-face classes. But if we only have 15-20 percent who are willing to send kids to class, it doesn’t work for any school financially, ”says Mansour Ali Khan, Secretary General, Association of Independent Schools Directorates CBSE, Karnataka. “At the end of the day, it has to be a democratic process. Parents and the school administration must work together, ”he adds.

Sources say more than 90 percent of schools in Karnataka have resumed normal operation since the state government recently instructed the schools to reopen. But some, especially urban ones, hesitate to reopen. While schools report that parents are unwilling to send their children back to school as a reason for reluctance to reopen, some educators have a different opinion on the decisions made by the school administration.

“During online lessons, many teachers only received a fraction of their regular salary. Some schools may say that it is because of the parents that they do not reopen, but it may be because the schools save a lot of money during online classes because they have to bear less running costs and can even pay their staff less, ”says a teacher at a school in the city. However, educators warn of the consequences of keeping students away from face-to-face learning for so long.

Teachers say there is a serious learning gap among students as many of them are not up to date in their curriculum and have barely progressed since closed schools at the beginning of last year. “Schools will need at least six months to close the gap that has widened. It will be quite a challenge, ”said Khan.


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