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Online class at government schools in Kolkata, ‘under wraps’

Heads of the institutions fear West Bengal government’s wrath

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 21.06.22, 06:56 AM
 The usual summer recess starts in the third week of May and continues for up to 18 days.

The usual summer recess starts in the third week of May and continues for up to 18 days.

Representational picture

Some of the government-aided schools are holding classes over online platforms during the summer vacation so that they can complete the syllabus on time.

The heads of the institutions, however, do not want to go on record about the initiative to avoid earning the government’s wrath.


Some other schools have decided to conduct compensatory classes after the resumption of in-person activities to make up for what the students have missed out on. Across schools, teachers feel students are losing valuable class time because of the prolonged summer vacation.

The head of a school in south Kolkata said they have been holding classes on digital platforms for the students of classes IX, X and XII from May 2, the day the summer break started, because reduction in class hours would come in the way of completing the syllabus.

Next year’s Madhyamik and higher secondary examinations will be held based on the entire syllabus.

The exams were conducted on the truncated syllabus this year because classes could not be held following the Covid-induced shutdown of the campuses.

“We have been holding classes over online platforms since early May. Classes were discontinued from late May because the students needed the usual summer recess. Physical classes were scheduled to resume on June 16. But since the vacation has been extended till June 26, the online classes have been resumed,” said the headmistress.

“We will start online classes for the junior section soon,” she added.

The usual summer recess starts in the third week of May and continues for up to 18 days.

The state government had on June 13 extended the summer vacation in schools, other than the ones in the hill districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, by 11 more days citing “extreme heat-wave conditions”.

“I don’t want to go on record about holding the classes because of the fear that the government could view this as an act of defiance,” one headmistress said.

Asked why the fear, she said the government had instructed the schools to declare summer vacation, but did not say whether the schools were free to hold online classes.

When the school education department had suspended in-person classes of students from Class IX to XII in January following a fresh surge of cases, an order signed by the education secretary said: “the academic activity will continue online and via alternative modes,…”.

Another head of the institution of a school in north Calcutta she did not wish to say “anything in public” about holding classes.

This fear of being seen as defiant had forced some of the private schools that had started in-person classes or were about to do so from mid June, to shift to online classes.

The headmaster of the government-aided Jodhpur Park Boys’ School, Amit Sen Majumder, said they would hold additional classes once the schools reopen after the summer vacation.

Jayanta Bhattacharya, the headmaster of Hare School, said they too were planning additional classes.

Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur, is holding in-person classes during the extended summer vacation as well and will hold the revision tests from June 22.

Last updated on 21.06.22, 06:56 AM

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