Nagpur: The worried parents could heave a sigh of relief as physical attendance of children is not a must after reopening of schools. The parents were wary of sending their children to school whenever physical reopening is permitted by the State Government. However, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) released by the Central and State Government make it very clear that physical attendance of students is not mandatory.
The Minister of State for School Education Bacchu Kadu said that till the Covid-19 pandemic does not show a sharp decline, there is absolutely no question of schools reopening physically. He reassured that attendance of kids cannot be enforced. “Even after physical reopening, no school can force a child to attend classes,” said Kadu adding parents must not fall victims to rumours.
The circular issued by CBSE on October 8 also clarifies the matter. The circular refers to guidelines issued by the Central Government about school reopening and attendance of students. It goes on to say that students can attend school only after “written parental consent”.
The other concern troubling the parents is that their child will suffer if she/he does not attend physical classes. This concern is not without valid reasons because multiple issues related to online classes have clearly established that there can’t be a better option than the traditional format of teaching. Here, too, the Central Government guidelines clarify that both online/offline teaching shall continue simultaneously. Those who wish to attend online only may be permitted to do so.
The President of All India Parents’ Association (AIPA) Ashok Agarwal said parents need not worry about the academic aspect at all. “Schools will have to promote every child to the next class and it will happen across the country. Even if your child opts for online schooling in the 2020-21 academic session no action can be taken by the school. Your child will get the same academic attention from the teacher regardless of the mode of education,” said Agarwal, who is a well known Delhi-based activist.
The Minister of State for School Education Bacchu Kadu too assured that a similar pattern will be followed in Maharashtra. “Classes will continue online as well. Students won’t suffer academically,” he said.