The attendance in high schools and Pre-University (PU) colleges in Karnataka was poor on day one when offline classes resumed after a gap of five months.
These classes were suspended in March due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections. According to an official report, the attendance in both offline and online classes across the State for Class X stood at 21%, while it was 19.5% for Class IX. PU colleges reported a slightly higher attendance as the cumulative attendance for both offline and online classes stood at 36%.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai visited Nirmala Rani School at Malleswaram to interact with students. He was accompanied by Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, and Primary and Secondary Education Minister B.C. Nagesh, apart from officials of the Department of Primary and Secondary Education. The Chief Minister sought the views of students on reopening of schools and resumption of classes.
While many schools and PU colleges anticipated that attendance would be low in offline classes, attendance in online classes too was extremely poor. More than two-thirds of the students did not attend classes virtually or physically in high schools.
B.C. Nagesh, Primary and Secondary Education Minister said that there were some errors in the data collated by the department and they would be rectified by Tuesday. “Many students told me that they were unable to focus on the online classes from their homes and said they were glad that offline classes resumed,” he said.
Variations in districts
There was a huge variation in the attendance among different districts. While in Class IX, Uttara Kannada reported 53%, Koppal reported 2.06%. In Class X too, the highest attendance was in Uttara Karnataka, while the lowest was 2.2% in Gadag .
In PU colleges, Bengaluru Rural had 78%, while in Bidar, only 8% of students attended both online and offline classes.
Department officials said that the attendance was higher in government schools and PU colleges as well as small budget private schools. Schools had a festive look as teachers decorated the campuses and distributed sweets to students.
Niranjanaradhya V.P., senior fellow, Centre for Child and Law, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, said that many School Development Monitoring Committee members informed him that the attendance in government schools was good and demanded that the primary classes be reopened soon.
D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools, Karnataka, said many small private schools saw high attendance. He added that many schools did not reopen on Monday.
Class X stood: 21%
Class IX: 19.5%
PU colleges: 36%.
Class IX: Uttara Kannada highest with 53%, Koppal least at 2.06%
Class X: highest attendance Uttara Karnataka: 54.07 %, least 2.2% in Gadag
PU colleges: Bengaluru Rural 78%, least Bidar 8%