The resumption of offline classes in Odisha comes in the wake of a report by an NGO that the pandemic had not only slowed down the learning process among children but also created a digital disparity among students in urban and rural parts of the state.
Offline classes for students of classes VI and VII studying in Odisha schools will begin from November 15, state school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said on Wednesday.
The minister said physical classes will be conducted while strictly following all Covid-19 protocols. “The teaching hours for class 6 and class 7 students will be between 9.30 a.m. and 1.00 p.m excluding Sundays and public holidays. The students will be allowed to attend classes either through the online mode or offline mode in consultation with their parents,” Dash said.
Classroom teaching for students of classes XI and VIII began on October 21 and October 25 respectively. Classes for students of X and XII had resumed earlier from July 26. For students of class IX, the schools reopened on August 16.
The minister said the Odisha government is yet to take a decision regarding reopening of schools for classes I to V.
“Discussion on resumption of physical classes for primary students is underway with the deliberation of every aspect including the Covid-19 situation at present. Reopening schools in a phased manner is a judicious process and a final decision in this regard will be taken soon,” he said.
The resumption of offline classes in Odisha comes in the wake of a report by an NGO that the pandemic had not only slowed down the learning process among children but also created a digital disparity among students in urban and rural parts of the state. The survey titled ‘Paused Classrooms’, carried out by Save the Children and Odisha RTE Forum, said that only about 6 lakh students from among the 60 lakh students in the age group of 6 to 14 years pursuing elementary education in Odisha, attended online classes.
The survey pointed out that the School and Mass Education department did not take into consideration the infrastructure and connectivity issues in rural parts of the state before launching the online education programme.