Back to school

A combination of online and offline lectures has been the formula for reopening most schools in Kolhapur, while some schools have completely gone offline.


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Akash Umesh Khandke

Kolhapur: Most schools in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, have started offline lessons along with online lectures. According to schools, a combination of online and offline lectures helps them to maintain social distancing among the students in school buses and classrooms. Temperature checks, oxygen-level count, and use of hand sanitiser are mandatory for all the students and teachers in every school.

VIBGYOR High School in Kolhapur has divided every grade from first to tenth in two batches. The first batch from each standard is called on Mondays and Wednesdays for offline lessons, whereas, the second batch attends the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Offline lectures are going on simultaneously, along with in-person lectures via live streaming.

"Generally the strength of the class is 30. However, owing to social distancing norms we have 15 students in one batch. It is difficult to manage offline lecture along with live streaming for the students at home. But this is the best option to avoid overcrowding the classrooms," said Sapna, a teacher in VIBGYOR school.

Kolhapur Public School’s (KPS) students can either come to school daily or stay at home and attend digital classes. "Even though the management has kept both the options open. I, as a teacher, prefer in-person teaching. Some of the students have a very casual approach towards online lectures. They keep their web cameras off for most of the time," said Deepa Patil, Mathematics teacher for higher classes at KPS.

Viraj Mehtar, a 10th-grade student in KPS says that classroom learning is more productive compared to online lectures. He said: "The network issue was very prominent during online lectures, and there was no actual interaction between the students and the teachers. I have been attending in-person lectures from the day the permission was granted."

The KPS management has stopped school-bus service considering the risk of COVID-19. Parents have had to arrange transportation for their children.

Shantiniketan School has reserved alternate days for online and in-person lectures. To curb the spread of COVID-19 infection, students are not allowed to play on the playground or roam in the corridor during lunch break. Individual benches are allotted to every student in the classroom.

While most schools are conducting online as well as offline classes, Sanjay Ghodawat International School has stopped online lessons and encouraged students to attend in-person lectures. The school has an isolation room for students in case they are diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms during school hours. The student diagnosed with symptoms can resume offline classes only after producing a fitness certificate from a doctor.

"The school management had arranged a meeting for parents to showcase all the arrangements before the commencement of offline lectures. I was satisfied with the arrangement and had no hesitation in sending my child to school," said Pallavi Deshpande, a parent.

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