Reopen schools for classes 10th & 12th, demand academics – Times of India

NAGPUR: The call for reopening schools for at least Std X and XII is growing by the day, with some school associations stepping up the ante and issuing ultimatums to authorities. The reasoning being given by school managements and academics is that Std X & XII are crucial years for any student, and physical teaching is very important for that.

Sanjay Tayde-Patil, president of Maharashtra English Schools Trustees Association (MESTA), has issued a public statement saying that from January 17 they will reopen schools on their own. Though it may be a pressure tactic to force government to review the reopening plan, the fact is that this time around schools are getting more vocal about their views.

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Sachin Kalbande, president of RTE Foundation and a school trustee, said, “On Thursday, we will be meeting district collector and giving a memorandum for reopening. Our stand is clear that Std X and XII must be reopened because board exams are less than two months away. Course completion is not possible in such a short time unless we go for physical classes.”
Kalbande added that majority of the students do not have access to online learning platforms, thus keeping them outside the academic loop. “We can’t have this biased education system where only kids of the privileged class get access. Everyone should be able to attend school in physical mode, on a voluntary basis, and that decision should be left to local authorities. This statewide ban on physical classes is incorrect,” said Kalbande.

Some CBSE schools in the city too felt that shutting down physical classes is not good. Not wanting to speak on record, at least two principals and one trustee said that there are many parents who would want to send kids to school.

“They have now understood that their children are lagging behind in education due to online teaching. This virtual mode is merely like completing a formality, but has the child really grasped anything? As a principal I keep reviewing the progress and can say that hardly 10% of the kids can keep up with what is being taught. Else, they either shut off the camera or mentally zone out during classes,” said the principal.

A trustee said that school reopening had brought in the much-needed fees. “We were struggling to collect fee and, thankfully, due to physical reopening, parents started paying up. In online mode again, that’s getting hampered,” said the trustee.

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