With limited staff, many schools stop online classes

Managements say they have no choice as teachers cannot conduct online and offline classes simultaneously

March 12, 2021 07:32 am | Updated 07:32 am IST

Students in a school in Ganganagar, Bengaluru.

Students in a school in Ganganagar, Bengaluru.

Schools are finding it difficult to comply with the State government’s order to conduct on-campus and online classes for students due to the limited number of teaching staff on their rolls. Many managements have stopped online classes for higher primary and high school students as teachers are unable to juggle both sessions and also ensure that students have grasped concepts.

Lokesh Talikatte, State unit president, Recognised Unaided Private Schools’ Association, Karnataka, said that out of 5,000 higher primary and high schools affiliated to the Association, nearly 80% have stopped online classes as teachers are unable to manage the workload. “If we have to run both online and offline classes, we need more staff. But schools cannot hire more teachers as they don’t have the funds. The government has said that we have to cut tuition fees by 30% for this academic year,” he said, and added only schools affiliated to central boards had enough corpus to run online and offline classes.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, also said that teachers are finding it difficult to conduct offline as well as online classes simultaneously.

As a result, parents have no choice but to send their children to school.

Ravi S., an auto-driver said that he did not want to send his son who was in class eight to school, until he was vaccinated. “Initially, we had a tough time accessing online classes. I got my son a new phone to login to his classes and he was learning well. Now the classes have stopped and teachers have asked him to study on his own and take our help if he cannot attend classes on campus. But neither my wife nor I can help him with his lessons,” he said.

Schools in Karnataka reopened in a phased manner for high school and upper primary classes from January 1. On an average, private schools are reporting 60% attendance.

Mansoor Ali Khan, member, board of management, Delhi Public Schools group, said that it was not feasible for teachers to conduct both types of classes at the same time. “The sound acoustics are not good. Students who have logged into the session online are unable to hear what the teacher is saying,” he said.

Other principals pointed out that streaming a class live for students learning from home does not ensure that they are grasping concepts.

Some teachers said that they tried to schedule their online classes after they were done with teaching students on campus. “But we cannot sustain this, and many of us are experiencing burnout due to the long working hours,” said a teacher in a private school in Bengaluru.

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