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Schools want teachers back on campus

If teachers took online classes from classrooms it would mean better 'connectivity': Heads of schools
'The schools have been advised to conduct the practical classes in the laboratories for the candidates in a staggered manner.'

Jhinuk Mazumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 15.01.21, 02:18 AM

Several schools have started calling teachers back to the campus or are planning to do so to prepare them for a routine once students are allowed to come back.

Heads of schools said if teachers took online classes from classrooms, it would mean better “connectivity” and would also help them test the school infrastructure that was lying idle for a long time.

Teachers will be more accountable when they take classes from school and they will not have to juggle household chores while teaching, at least two principals said.

On Thursday, the ICSE council sent a circular to the heads of all schools preparing candidates for the 2021 ICSE and ISC exams, asking them to utilise the period before the exams by helping the students complete their project work and submit it for evaluation. 

The schools have also been advised to conduct the practical classes in the laboratories for the candidates in a staggered manner, Gerry Arathoon, the chief executive and secretary of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, said in the circular. “Keeping in view of the fact that schools are being permitted to re-open gradually by their State/UT Governments, I write to inform you that while allowing children to attend the school, the Heads of the schools are advised to follow the Standard Operating Procedures(SOPs) and norms of social distancing as per the directions given by the Central Government and the respective State/UT Governments,” said Arathoon.

At both La Martiniere for Girls and La Martiniere for Boys, the teachers have been asked to take online classes from the respective campuses from Friday.

While The Heritage School has asked teachers of Classes VI to XII to come to school from Monday on rotation, teachers of South City International School will have to visit the campus according to the institution’s timings. At Birla High School, coordinators have been visiting the campus since January and teachers as and when required.

There has been no regular activity across schools for nearly 10 months. “Our preparation should be good before students start coming in...,” said Seema Sapru, the principal of The Heritage School.

“The school will have high speed internet connectivity and will also provide the necessary support in case there is any hardware issue,” said Supriyo Dhar, the secretary of La Martiniere schools.

John Bagul, the principal of South City International School, said unlike at home “teachers can use the interactive smart boards in the school while taking classes.”

Heads of schools feel that taking classes from school will help get back the routine, which has been upset in the last so many months. “We plan to do so in a phased manner,” said Father Rodney Borneo, the principal of Loyola High School.

Loveleen Saigal, the principal of Birla High School, said “biggest challenge” would be to get back teachers and subsequently, students back on campus. “People have settled in a work-from-home culture,” said Saigal.

For example, across several schools, classes start an hour later than usual. With no commuting, teachers get some time, which is not the case when it comes to on campus classes.

With the new academic session to begin soon, schools will have to set the academic calendar, select the booklist and prepare for term exams.

“We have been taking viva for senior classes and conducting it from the school makes it more professional...,” said Alok Tibrewal, the pro vice-chairman, Delhi Public School Ruby Park.

 

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