Unaided Schools Forum (USF) is a pan-Maharashtra schools’ association which has under its belt all the well-known CBSE schools, among others. USF’s honorary secretary Subhash Chandra Kedia said teaching both online and offline, which is called the hybrid model, is not feasible.
“If a teacher is taking physical classes, things like net connectivity, audio quality etc are beyond her control and distracting,” Kedia said.
He cited the example of Mumbai, which is now preparing to reopen schools like pre-Covid times. Kedia said, “A circular has already been issued by the civic body in which it has allowed 100% attendance from March 2. So, the entire staff and students on rolls will be allowed to come and operate a for full day.”
He added that once full-time school begins this week just like pre-Covid times, online will become redundant.
“There is no need of online classes when we are talking about full-day school. Attendance is steadily increasing everywhere, which shows that even parents want to send kids back to school,” said Kedia.
In the last few months, TOI has reported about schools stopping the online class option once they reopened in physical mode. As per the state government orders, which continue to remain in effect, both online and offline must continue.
Ashok Gavhankar, general secretary of Vidarbha Junior College Teachers Association, said that ever since the pandemic started, more than half of the students in Nagpur itself have not had proper education.
“The online class system is highly dependent on the type of infrastructure (phone, net speed, finances to recharge etc) you have at home. Even in schools where online was going on, the academic results are not good because students were merely sitting in front of the screen,” Gavhankar added.
Kedia said there is nothing wrong if schools push for offline classes. “The academic and emotional well-being of students is best taken care of in an offline setting. The pandemic has already taken a big toll on academics and all stakeholders must now make a concerted effort to ensure that kids do not suffer anymore,” he added.