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Andhra parents for online classes as threat of third wave of Covid-19 looms

Urge government to provide laptops under Amma Vodi scheme

Published: 09th June 2021 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th June 2021 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

But parents must have a say in deciding what kind of online learning they want for their children, and how much of it they want.

For representational purposes

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: In the wake of a Covid-19 task force committee projecting that the possible third wave could affect 4.50 lakh children in the state, parents are unwilling to send their wards back to schools even when the next academic year begins. They are in favour of continuation of online classes, and urged the state government to give laptops to students, in lieu of cash deposits under the Amma Vodi scheme, so that more children can attend the virtual classes. 

Due to the first Covid wave, the current academic year began last November for classes 8, 9 and 10 and December 1 for the lower classes. Before the rapid surge in cases in the second wave, the schools functioned normally till April, and for half days from April 1 to 30 due to the high mercury levels. In April, the state government ordered completion of academic year 2020-21, and declared summer break for the students and teachers of class 10 from May 1 to 31 with the last working day on April 30. After examining the situation, the government postponed Class 1o and Intermediate board examinations, scheduled in June and May earlier. 

With speculations that the next academic year may begin after July 21 if the situation permits, parents’ and teachers’ associations said the children would not attend the schools even if the government is firm on resuming them. Andhra Pradesh Patasala Parents Association founder-president P Chandram said: “How can the government encourage offline classes even after health experts have said that many children can fall prey to Covid-19 in the third wave? Instead of focusing on conducting offline classes, the government should explore the possibilities of providing laptops to students under Amma Vodi if it is firm on beginning the next academic year.” 

AP Municipal Teachers Federation president M Ramakrishna suggested that the government begin the next academic year through the virtual classes rather than asking the students to be physically present in the schools. Commenting on the government’s firm attitude on holding the Class 10 and Intermediate examinations, Ramakrishna noted that as per the Right to Education Act examinations should be conducted within the academic year itself. “Instead of conducting the exams, the government should consider students’ performances in quarterly and half-yearly exams to promote them.” State Council of Educational Research and Training  director B Prathap Reddy, however, said the state government is yet to take a call on when to begin the next academic year.



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