Reopening offline classes: Edu dept mulls task force

The first priority is to start offline classes and if it's not possible, plan B is to restart the Vidyagama programme
Last Updated 25 June 2021, 19:18 IST

The state government has decided to constitute a task force to explore options for the reopening of offline classes for schools.

According to the official sources from the department, the first priority is to start offline classes and if it's not possible, plan B is to restart the Vidyagama programme for all schools in the state.

This was discussed in the meeting chaired by Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar in Bengaluru on Friday attended by the representatives of various non-profit organisations and academicians.

"The stakeholders at the meeting pressed for resuming offline classes in a phased manner. Most of them were for restarting the Vidyagama programme at the earliest," said an official source from the department.

'Resume Vidyagama '

Considering the fact that many government schools lack the infrastructure to hold online classes, many felt the need for resuming Vidyagama.

"At least with Vidyagama, teachers can connect with students directly, and the learning process will continue," they said.

In fact, the Dr Devi Shetty-headed committee report also mentioned the Vidyagama programme conducted during the previous academic year.

Minister Suresh Kumar said in a press statement, "Most of them present in the meeting expressed their opinion to restart Vidyagama. We will be constituting a task force to decide about reopening of offline classes."

It can be recalled that during the 2020-21 academic year the Vidyagama programme was withdrawn midway following reports of students and teachers testing positive for Covid-19 at several places.

The minister said several representatives and experts present in the meeting suggested the reopening of schools in phases. "Some representatives suggested unlocking of schools in a staggered manner similar to the unlocking system followed for districts based on Covid positivity rate. There were also suggestions to reopen schools from gram panchayat level," he added.

To consult Health dept

Meanwhile, despite the recommendation by the Devi Shetty panel to reopen schools and colleges, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education has decided to seek suggestions from the Health and Family Welfare department before taking a decision on reopening of offline classes.

"Before taking any decision on reopening of offline classes we will consult the Health department and proceed further," said the minister.

However, the discussions held in the meeting and suggestions given by various experts will be discussed in a video conferencing scheduled by the minister with deputy commissioners, Zilla panchayat chief executive officers and district health officers on June 28.

CCE for state school students

The continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) will be conducted at the state board schools, starting this academic year, in line with other board schools. The CCE will be conducted periodically for three months, six months and an annual basis.

(Published 25 June 2021, 17:20 IST)

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