The state government is likely to commence offline classes for grades 6 to 8. Gujarat had commenced offline classes for grade 12 and grades 9 to 11 post-college hours from July 26. On August 3, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama announced that the state government will soon also commence offline classes for grades 6 to 8. He said that the classes will commence in phases. A meeting of the core committee will be held in the near future, after which the final decision will be taken.
Chudasama was present at Shahibaug at a municipal school for the Garib Kalyan food distribution program. After the program, he said, “The fifth anniversary of the government will be celebrated till August 9th, after which a meeting of the core committee would be held. This meeting will discuss starting classes 6 to 8. We have complied with the idea of starting offline classes in stages.”
However, a few schools like the Anand Niketan haven’t even commenced other grades i.e. 9 to 12. Principal Nashy Chauhan said, “We haven’t yet begun the other grades and neither have we taken a final call on when to begin. We feel that with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, especially the third wave, it is best everything continues online. Children too can become carriers and so no taken the risk.”
“We are all set and teachers have been called back from their native places. They were conducting online classes. We have started ground staff and online mediums are set in the school too. We are also prepared to tackle the third wave,” said the Executive Director of Udgam School, Manan Choksi.
With the uncertainty of the pandemic, Choksi said it is impossible to rely on forecasts and so, they are prepared for both offline and online mode, for future phase-wise opening as well.
“But”, he said, “we are facing problems of transport, buses have to come on the road in full working conditions. They have to be repaired way in advance. But we have started working on it. If offices and other things have opened then why not schools? With the third wave, the likeliness of closing down is also high, then why not commence schools now with even 50 per cent capacity?”
Investigation on schools who do not comply with fee waiver
Bhupendrasinh in his speech also announced a 25 per cent fee waiver. He said that some schools have not complied with the complaint. The complaint will be investigated and a 25 per cent fee waiver will be complied with. Regarding the results of the CBSE board of standard 10, he said that Gujarat is ahead of the CBSE board. “The CBSE Board declared the results now, but we did it first”, he said.
Current status of offline education
Offline education for grade 12 students, polytechnic institutes and colleges in Gujarat started from July 15 with parents’ consent and 50 per cent capacity. Attendance of students in these institutions is required. After this, on July 26, offline classes were flagged off for grades 9 to 11.
Offline attendance is a must
Earlier in the meeting, the core committee had discussed in detail the status of the transition of corona in the state and the declining number of Covid-19 cases. Following the status report, offline classes resumed with 50 per cent capacity, and students’ attendance was a mandate after the consent form is duly filled by the parents.
According to the decision taken by the government, students coming to study in the school are required to bring a consent form from their parents. Along with this, the online education system has also been kept intact. The Department of Education will also have to ensure compliance with the Corolla Transition Control Guideline-SOP in offline classes.