Published: 22nd December 2020
With only two weeks left to reopen schools in Karnataka, parents wary of sending kids to school with COVID around
While the state government is preparing to welcome children back to school, several parents remained indecisive, while others were vehement about their demand to push the date of reopening further
Even as schools prepare for a January 1 grand opening for students of Class 6 onwards, parents are even more apprehensive with a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 emerging in the United Kingdom and threatening to spread across the world. They now prefer to take a wait-and-watch approach for at least two weeks.
Several remained indecisive, while others were vehement about their demand to push the date of reopening further. Chandramukhi, parent of a grade 9 student of CBSE board, said, “Schools could be opened in June. Summer vacations will begin in a couple of months, what will schools teach Class 6-8 students in this short period?”
Another parent, Ganesh Poojary said, "The problem with partial reopening is that parents will always fear that their wards will miss out on classes other students have had. And once you open schools, there is no turning back."
Poojary does not mind his Class II child missing a year or two of school.
The apprehensions of parents of older children are the same. Mohammed Shakeel, of Voice Of Parents, a collective of parents with wards in CBSE, ICSE and State boards in Karnataka, said that parents are hesitant to send children of Class 6-9 to school. Meanwhile, those in Class 10 and 12 have no option but send their children and hope they are safe.
The government can, however, consider delaying the academic year, he added. For instance, ICSE hill schools, which complete exams in November, have delayed their boards, which can be extended to non-hill schools.
Even better would be if board exams are realigned to international standards, and held around August, he added. Ramesh, whose daughter is in Class 2, hopes the government promotes students to the next year – online classes have been heavy on the pocket.
Former CM Siddaramaiah, "Online classes are being conducted at the convenience of teachers. I had written three letters to the government highlighting the problems students faced, and advised that they be promoted this year. However, the government has not paid heed."