Regular classes will be mostly online: Mumbai schools

Updated: 13 November, 2020 08:23 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

With government guidelines for re-opening schools posing an unprecedented challenge, here is how schools are trying to get a semblance of order come November 23

Strict protocols have been introduced so that students maintain safe physical distance in the classroom. representation pic
Strict protocols have been introduced so that students maintain safe physical distance in the classroom. representation pic

AMID uncertainties and confusion over the reopening of schools in the city after Diwali in the middle of the pandemic, the school administrations are struggling to chart out plans for resuming physical classes for students from Std IX to XII according to the protocols, but they're trying their best. A school in Dadar is taking parents' opinion based on which it will chart out a plan to hold physical classes, while another in Kandivli says it will call students on campus only for remedial teaching or practical classes. 

THE government's guidelines states that schools must conduct classes only for four hours and teach only three major subjects, while other subjects can be taught online. Now, with the fear of COVID-19, some parents are expected to not send their children to school, and in this case schools have to ensure they get their lessons too.

Faced with crucial questions

The administrations are dealing with several other crucial questions. With just one student per bench, how does one manage the manpower of teachers for three subjects and what about other teachers? Why call them to school if they won't have a class to teach?

Pointing to a contradiction, Rupa Roy, principal of Balmohan Vidyamandir School in Dadar, said, "Parents have been asked to give consent to send their wards to schools and at the same time the government has warned that there is a fear of a second wave of coronavirus infections. In such a situation, it is more important to understand whether parents are willing to send children to school." Preparing a timetable and creating a safe environment may not be difficult once we know what parents think.

For us, the first step is to gauge parents' opinion and we have started working on it."

Only one student can sit on one bench. representation pic
Only one student can sit on one bench. Representation pic

The Children's Academy Group of Schools in Kandivli has decided to hold physical classes for revision, remedial teaching or practical, not for regular classes. It has also begun a poll for parents to take their opinion in order to make arrangements.

"The idea behind this decision is to ensure no child misses out on academics. Even if some parents send children to school there would be others who won't be comfortable. In this case, we cannot repeat the same lesson twice. So, regular academics will continue online and physical assembly in small sizes can be held for additional preparation," shared Rohan Bhat, chairman of the
school group.

He added that physical assembly could be helpful for schools where online learning was not happening in full capacity due to lack of facilities.

Also Read: Mumbai: Schools reopen from November 23, here are the SOP's

May need both online, offline

At Orchids International School in Borivli, the administration has decided to continue online classes along with and offline, considering the uncertainty.

"We understand that some parents are apprehensive about sending their children to school. So, online classes will still be available those students. The idea is to continue the classes in any way possible — offline or online," said Principal Kavita Mukherjee. The school has decided to have only 12-15 students in each class at a time, and the seats will be labelled with their names.

Two key challenges

  • How to balance manpower for four hours of in-person classes while continuing online sessions?
  • How to ensure students who are not comfortable coming to school don’t miss out and fall back?

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First Published: 13 November, 2020 07:02 IST

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