While students in standards VI-VIII are set to return to school on September 6, parents are wary of sending their children to school
While schools are set to welcome students of classes VI to VIII back to the classroom on Monday, managements of private schools are not expecting attendance to be high. Many schools that had resumed offline classes for standards IX and X have suspended them due to poor attendance.
Principals and teachers are expecting a low turnout as parents are hesitant to send their children to school. M. Srinivasan, president of the Management of Independent CBSE Schools’ Association, said that many schools affiliated to the CBSE do not plan to reopen for classes VI to VIII on Monday. “We did a survey and only 11% of parents were ready to send their children to school. Parents are also satisfied with the way online classes are being conducted,” he said.
Manila Carvalho, principal of Delhi Public School, Bengaluru East, said they started high school classes (IX and X) on August 23 but decided to stop them last week after only 5-10% of students reported to school. “It is difficult to conduct classes for just five or 10 students per class. We will restart the classes at a later date after a detailed survey is conducted and when parents feel confident to send their children to school,” she said. The school is not planning to resume physical classes from Monday.
The management of Shanthinikethana School has made a similar decision. “The attendance for Class X is fluctuating, but students turn up to give the tests. But we decided to suspend offline classes for Class IX students due to the poor response,” Sumanth Narayan, founder of the school, said.
Lokesh Talikatte, State unit president of the Recognised Unaided Private Schools’ Association, Karnataka, said most of the schools that suspended offline classes for high school students were in urban areas. “But the response in rural areas has been good and attendance is very high,” he said. One of the main reasons for this is lack of access to the internet and other infrastructure required to attend online classes.
D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, added that schools were finding it difficult to juggle between conducting offline and online classes. “Many are choosing to focus on online classes, but the response in State board schools has been good,” he said.