Teachers relieved over start of offline classes

As they brace for a tough work schedule ahead

Albeit loss of a couple of months, school teachers have heaved a sigh of relief over the start of offline classes for students, and are bracing themselves up for the tough task ahead.

Students of standards IX to XII who are being engaged from the start of this month have been initiated into a bridge course of 45-day duration to acclimatise them to the portions that they had to either miss or rush through last year due to the lockdown. On their part, officials are a relieved lot more because teachers have shed their inhibitions over handling classes for students though they have not been administered COVID-19 jabs as yet.

“Nevertheless, the indications are not rosy. Most of the students have entirely lost touch with the academic activities and it will take quite some time to orient their mind-set to classroom teaching-learning. But, this was not entirely unexpected,” James, an English teacher of a government-aided school in the city, said.

“As for English, it is back to basics even for students in higher classes. Simple grammar exercises are being given now to students. It will take quite some time to prepare their minds to listen to prose and poetry,” Mr. James said.

Meanwhile, teachers of primary and upper primary levels are looking forward to early start of off-line classes. “When the shops and restaurants are kept open and the usual transport services are being operated, there is no reason why schools must not function with the usual strength,” Parthiban, a teacher of an upper primary school said.

“We had been struggling to keep track of the academic progress of the students since the students do not have access to smart phones. Though we do give them writing exercises and project work, following up has been a tough proposition. Door to door visits do not work well always. Also, it is practically impossible to visit all students on a daily basis,” Mr. Parthiban pointed out, welcoming the move by the government to start offline classes for primary and upper primary levels.

Representatives of teacher associations, however, point out that the course of action for resumption of offline classes has to be strategised by involving them as well as stakeholders.

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