Reopen offline schools for Class 10 and Class 12 students, urges teachers

Following the announcement of Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and Class 10 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board examinations to be held in April and May 2021, respectively, students and teachers have appealed to the state School Education Minister to allow the reopening of schools in Mumbai for offline lectures. Students said they have only three to four months left to prepare and teachers stated they need to complete the syllabus before the board examinations.

Students studying in Class 10 and Class 12 in Maharashtra state board schools were both relieved and worried when state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad announced the tentative examination dates on Sunday. Gaikwad said, "We are considering holding HSC examinations after April 15, 2021, and SSC examinations after May 1. The state is consulting health officials on the possibility of reopening schools for Standard 5 to Standard 8. A decision will soon be taken."

In response to this announcement, students said they are relieved that the tentative examination dates are out. However, they are worried about the less time they will get to gain practical learning. Kirti Chawla, a Class 12 Science student said, "If my HSC examinations are going to be held in mid-April, then practicals and laboratory lectures should begin as soon as possible. How am I supposed to appear for my HSC board examinations without any practical exposure?"

Debashish Gupta, another HSC student said, "I cannot understand the practical aspects of the syllabus via online lectures. Colleges should start offline practical lectures soon, as we have just three months left for our board examinations." While, Dani Anthony, a Class 10 student said, "Examination-related doubts and queries are not resolved thoroughly via virtual classes. I need the physical assistance of my teacher to explain certain complex concepts."

Teachers said schools should reopen offline lectures for Class 10 and Class 12 soon as the syllabus needs to be completed. Raziya Musalan, a teacher said, "Certain concepts and topics of the syllabus are best explained in an offline lecture. This will help students to prepare well, understand concepts thoroughly and clear doubts before SSC and HSC board examinations."

Vijay Gadge, another teacher said, "The state government and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should allow schools to resume offline lectures in a phased manner by maintaining COVID-19 standard operating procedures and safety measures. It will help us complete the syllabus on time and attend to the individual queries of students."

Schools reopened offline lectures for Class 9 to Class 12 in Pune, Nashik, Nagpur and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) areas from January 4, 2021. But schools in Mumbai will not open offline before January 15, 2021, in accordance with the BMC guidelines.

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