Several private schools that had not taken a decision last week on resumption of physical classes reopened their campuses on Tuesday or Wednesday for in-person sessions, instead of waiting for the government-mandated summer vacation to end next week.
Officials of some of the schools said the demand from parents to resume in-person classes intensified on Monday, when a number of institutions had reopened after summer vacation.
Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, Park Circus, and Rammohan Mission High School reopened on Wednesday. Indus Valley World School and BDM International School resumed physical classes on Tuesday on a day’s notice.
Rammohan Mission High School had decided on Friday that it would reopen on Wednesday.
“Since it has rained and there is no heatwave-like situation, we decided to start physical classes,” said Sister Rani Jacob, principal, Our Lady Queen of the Missions School. “Parents, students and teachers, all wanted in-person classes.”
The state government had on June 13 ordered an extension of the summer vacation by 11 days, till June 26, citing “heatwave-like conditions”.
The Kolkata diocese of the Church of North India had last week announced that 15 schools under it would reopen for in-person classes on June 20.
Amita Prasad, director of Indus Valley World School, told The Telegraph on Wednesday: “The weather has improved. Parents came to the school and wrote to us asking why we were continuing online despite a change in weather…. We could not counter the argument. An impression was gaining ground that we were unwilling to resume physical classes.”
At least two schools that have decided to shift to in-person classes only on June 27, as asked by the government, said there was a drop in attendance in online classes compared with in-person classes as well as previous online sessions.
The BSS School, Julien Day School, Kalyani — both of which are yet to resume in-person classes — and Rammohan Mission High School had noticed a drop in attendance in online classes.
“In earlier online classes for the middle school (Classes VI to VIII), the attendance was 90 per cent. It would be 95 per cent in physical classes. In the current spell of online classes, it has come down to 75 per cent,” said Sunita Sen, principal of The BSS School.
At Julien Day School, Kalyani, the attendance of junior students in online classes varies between 60 and 65 per cent. In senior classes, it is as low as 30.
“Teachers are struggling to get children back to online classes. Some are joining the class after being called up by teachers,” principal Terence John said.