The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has interrupted the Academic Year 2020-21 from KG to PG and even Professional courses had to be closed indefinitely. The online classes for KG to V Standard is banned by the Government in order to reduce stress among growing children which is no doubt to be welcomed. Even the online session for higher classes is unable to reach village and tribal children who form more than 60 percent in the State. The only beneficiaries are English medium students residing in cities and big towns.
The ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has come to the conclusion that the COVID pandemic will continue till November and as such it would be better to close down all types o educational institutions till the end of November 2020 and then plan to re-open in December in a phased way, if conditions are conducive.
It is a well-known fact that 70 percent of the institutions in India have no proper infrastructure like good drinking water, toilets and ventilated class rooms. The class rooms are small in size and so it is not possible for maintaining social distance if the Institutions are re-opened. Most of the rural institutions are crowded and lack hygienic conditions.
In these circumstances it would be better to declare 2020-21 as Zero Academic Year for classes to KG to IX and during the 2021-22 Academic Year they may be given reduced syllabus to cover both the classes in a single year. Our teachers are capable of doing it provided the Government reduces all holidays and vacations.
For the students of SSLC and PUC, classes may be conducted in December with utmost care to enable them to appear for the public examinations. Degree, PG and Professional courses may be considered after a review in November. Health and safety of children are more important than the conduct of classes in a hurry.
It is a known fact that the parents are totally exhausted in looking after their children during the pandemic period without school and outing. Let them think positively that this is an opportunity for the parents to build a strong bond with their children which is very much lacking in modern society.
Parents are advised to teach their children some hobbies, indoor games and try to involve them in day-to-day household duties. Reading habit may be cultivated. Let us hope for a brighter tomorrow and I am sure the students at all levels will understand the problem and co-operate with their family members.
The Government should ensure the students that the Academic Year will not be wasted.
– Rtn. Y.N. Sanjeeva Rao,, Retired Principal, Mysuru, 24.6.2020
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