Published: 28th September 2021
After Kendriya Vidyalayas get nod to reopen 'whenever' in Telangana, parents impatient to send their kids
While ten Kendriya Vidyalayas have already started offline classes for students in the state, the attendance in these remains at 15 per cent
Parents in Telangana whose children study in Kendriya Vidyalayas have been pushing for schools to reopen physical classrooms for primary students. The Telangana government had allowed the reopening of all schools for Classes IX-XII, and students were only allowed to attend with the consent of the parents. While government primary schools were reopened in a phased manner from September 1, private schools and Kendra Vidyalayas have been given the liberty to decide when and how to start offline classes.
Buoyed by this, parents of students studying in KVs say that they want schools to reopen for primary classes (I to VIII) too, since the risk of COVID-19 has drastically decreased over the last month. One of the parents, speaking to Edexlive, said, “Our son stays alone at home with his online classes after we have all left for work or school. No one is around to help him and online classes have been difficult to follow anyway, throughout the pandemic.”
Deputy Commissioner at the Kendriya Vidyalaya Regional Office in Hyderabad, K Saseendran says that it has been left to the discretion of the respective institutions to decide whether or not to allow primary school students to return. “This is being done based on the parent’s willingness. We are not compelling anyone,” he adds. About 10 Kendriya Vidyalayas across the state of Telangana have already reopened, and according to data, the attendance is being recorded at 15 per cent. Most schools are operating in the shift method, or the alternate day method, and the DC says that they have been inspecting the schools to ensure that all COVID-19 protocol is being followed.
Online classes have lost their sheen for teachers and students alike. “We simply don’t listen because it is hard to pay attention,” says another student from Nalgonda district. A student of Class X from a private school in the Nalgonda, she claims that most other schools have been reopened in the district, except for the primary classes in the KV where her brother studies in Class VI. Another student said that there is hardly any risk in reopening schools now because their parents and teachers are all vaccinated.
Speaking to Edexlive, however, a teacher in one of the Kendriya Vidyalayas expressed concerns regarding the maintenance of COVID-19 protocols. “It is relatively harder to control younger kids, and help them understand the importance of measures such as social distancing and maintaining sanitation. I don’t think it is as yet safe to reopen primary schools,” they said in a chat with Edexlive.
Primary schools in Uttar Pradesh had reopened in a staggered manner from the start of this month and Andhra Pradesh too has some primary schools, including KVs functioning, albeit with a significantly low attendance.
Teachers also cite the practical struggles of taking classes in blended mode, where they are supposed to be managing both online students and students in class simultaneously. “Usually, when there are any technical glitches, we are required to pause in the middle, and try to fix it. It breaks the flow of the session, and distracts those students who are in the classroom. Then there’s also the restriction of always staying within the frame of the camera,” says another teacher.
Parents from the Telangana Parents’ Association had also written to the state’s Education Minister P Sabitha Indrareddy to reopen residential schools, since these students have extremely limited access to online education, which is having an adverse effect on their education. The President of the TPA told Edexlive that they have not heard back from the government on the issue. Last week, they had said that if the government fails to take any action, they would approach the High Court.