News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Private schools defer resumption of offline classes after surge in new cases
News Source/Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Ranchi: Instead of waiting for directives from the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), many schools have decided not to start offline classes from Monday. Following the directives of the Centre and the state, the schools had earlier agreed to conduct offline classes for senior students from the fresh session. But given the unprecedented surge in Covid cases, they have decided not to risk the health of students.

Bishop Westcott group of schools has already circulated a message to the students to this effect informing that online classes will continue for Classes KG to X. Sixteen staff members of the group’s girls’ school in Namkom were found infected after a parent-teacher meeting in the second half of March.

The coordinator of CBSE schools in Ranchi, Manohar Lal, said that the CBSE schools were unanimous about continuing with online classes and not opting for offline classes as was decided earlier. “We will discuss on Monday about conducting classes but practical examinations for the boards are already going on and these cannot be stopped,” he said.

During the last one week, corona cases have rocked several schools in the state. Three schools in Jamshedpur — Loyola Convent, DBMS English School and Andhra Association English School — had to be closed after students and teachers tested positive for the virus. As many as 29 students of Indira Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Bundu also tested positive, following which the school was sealed.

The secretary of school education and literacy department, Rahul Kumar Sharma, admitted that there was no hurry for the schools to return to the offline mode of teaching but at the same time the department is also worried about the matriculation examination beginning Tuesday. “The practical examinations for Class X will start and these can be organised in a staggered manner, abiding by the Covid norms. But it may be difficult for students to attend the tests if they reside in containment zones,” he said. Sharma asked the deputy commissioners, who are responsible for finalizing exam centres, to keep this fact under consideration while finalizing the centres. He said that to ensure social distancing, the number of examination centers has been increased.

Meanwhile, even government departments were looking up to the SDMA for a concrete decision about oprerating schools. A senior official of the education department, unwilling to be named, said that the state had deferred the matriculation examination to May thinking that the infections would further come down. “No one had expected the second wave and since the situation is apparently worse than before, there is no harm if the examinations are further postponed or conducted online,” he said.

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News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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