BENGALURU: Despite Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar announcing that no online classes will be conducted up to Grade 5, schools are still continuing with it because they have not yet received the government order.
Private schools affiliated to CBSC and ICSE are using this as an excuse to continue with classes and the delay by the state education department in implementing the orders is only helping them.
The department’s delay in issuing the circular is making parents question the government’s intent.
Sources in the government said the minister had issued stern directions to the department to speed up the process, but still there is laxity.
“The day the announcement was made, the Primary and Secondary Education Department was told to release the orders and submit a report within 10 days regarding the formation of a committee for video link classes, the next step. But the first phase of the orders have not yet been issued,” a source said.
When The New Sunday Express contacted the officials, most of them reasoned that it was a Second Saturday and a holiday. “School is continuing with online classes even after the minister announced otherwise. When questioned, the management said they had not yet got the government orders.
“They also said they were following Central Government guidelines issued in May to continue with online classes,” said Poornima M, a parent of a Grade-2 student studying in a CBSE school.
Parents said that schools were arm-twisting them to pay the fees at the earliest and also purchase books as online classes had started. Dr K G Jagadeesh, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said: “Orders are being prepared by the secretariat and would be released by Monday or Tuesday. There is no delay. Even normally, after announcements are made, it takes time to issue government orders because many legal aspects have to be looked into.
With issues like these, orders have to be drafted in such a way that it covers all boards.”Sources in the department said: “The draft prepared by the education department is the same as what the minister had announced. The only addition the department has made is a statement as per the provisions of the education act and it took three days to include this.”
Despite repeated attempts, S R Umashankar, Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education Department, was not available for comment.