Schools, PU colleges in Bengaluru gear up to reopen

Schools, PU colleges in Bengaluru gear up to reopen

Staff is vaccinated, classes are sanitised and hybrid schooling is all chalked out. They await SOP now

Baldwin Methodist College (Pre-University), Hosur Road, plans to split each class into two.

The preparation to reopen schools and PU colleges in the city are going on in full swing. Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai announced last Friday that classes from 9 to 12 can resume in alternate batches from August 23.

The government hasn’t issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) yet but the educational institutions are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safe schooling in the Covid world.

Metrolife asked a few school administrators about their plan of action.

‘Vaccination done’

The Sindhi High School, Hebbal has 500 students in classes 9 to 12. “Our teachers are already coming to school, so we have ensured all of them are inoculated,” says Maithreyi Satyadev, principal.

Additionally, the school is making a video of the Covid-appropriate precautions it will be taking. “Last year, when we reopened, we had sent a similar video to encourage parents to send their wards to school. We will be making a new video to put their concerns to rest,” she says.

But vaccination of teachers is only half the battle won.

Hosur Road-located Baldwin Methodist College (Pre-University), which has around 200 second-year PU students, is planning to reopen soon. But principal Joshua Samuel says almost half of the students want to stick to virtual learning. “The unavailability of vaccines for the students may be a cause of worry for them,” he reasons.

‘Smaller groups’

National Public School, Kalkere, hasn’t set a date for reopening. “If parents are open to sending their children to physical classes, we will reopen. We plan to start with practical classes in small groups and slowly move on to theoretical classes,” says principal Shyla Purushotham.

Even within small groups, students will be distributed across the lab to ensure physical distancing, she adds.

Likewise, Baldwin Methodist College (Pre-University) plans to split each class into two, so each student gets a bench to sit in a spaced-out manner.

Silicon City Public School, Indiranagar, has 46 and 45 students in Class 9 and 10 respectively and will follow a similar floor plan. Yasmine Taj, principal, says they have spacious classrooms and students can sit at a distance from each other. “We functioned the same way last academic year,” she adds.

Silicon City Public School, Indiranagar, says its classrooms are spacious and students can maintain extra distance.
Silicon City Public School, Indiranagar, says its classrooms
are spacious and students can maintain extra distance.

‘Multiple classes’

This means more work for teachers. Samuel agrees as he explains, “Teachers will have to repeat classes as well as classes will be conducted over six days a week.” Managing online classes for younger students (Class 8 and below) and offline sessions for secondary students will be challenging. “All teachers will have to come to school and balance their schedule. Teachers will also have to record offline classes for students who want to continue online classes,” says Yasmine.

The other side

It’s an hour of dilemma for parents, observes Chandrashekarappa B R, principal, Surana Independent PU College, Jayanagar. While most parents have been enquiring about offline classes, some want to continue with online classes. “The parents of wards, who achieved 90 per cent marks in board exams, are comfortable with online classes. However, almost 90 per cent of them are worried about their wards’ eyesight and attention span in classes, and tackling technological issues,” shares Chandrashekarappa.

Teachers in his school are inoculated and classrooms are sanitised twice a day. With this, he is confident to open the gates of his college for 700 students in two weeks from now.

‘SOP will be out soon’

Anbu Kumar, commissioner, Department of Public Instruction, says the guidelines will be out soon.

“It will provide details on the teaching methodology and the structure of classes to follow,” he says.