Sitamarhi: Bihar’ schools reopened a month ago to clear the doubts of students from classes 9 to 12, but the attendance is still below 15%.
Prakash Kumar, a student of Hellen’s Public School, Sitamarhi, informed The Observer: “I am a class 12 student and have a lot of doubts but still can’t visit the school to clear my doubts.” Reason: His parents are not allowing him.
Attendance is not compulsory but parents’ consent is essential for students to attend school to get their doubts cleared.
Ravi Bhushan, another student of class 12, said: “…it’s too hectic to visit the school just for clearing my doubts.” He finds online classes for biology and mathematics class difficult.
Mani Raushan Kumar, whose ward studies in class 10, said: “I am not even considering sending my child to school and put him at risk even if that creates a gap year. I understand problems in online learning and it’s inadequate, but there is no substitute during the pandemic.”
Many private schools have said they are ready to reopen for all students if the government allows. They are of the opinion they have better equipped than government schools to reopen.
Sanjay Singh director of Hellen’s Public School, said: “We are better equipped in following the Covid-19 guidelines than many government schools. We are forced to conduct both online and offsite classes simultaneously, and it requires much effort from teachers, administration, and others.”
The school administration has put out a notice saying the mid-term exam will be conducted online and will consist of multiple choice questions.
Many schools lack the infrastructure required for online education. In Sitamarhi, two private schools have shut down so far. Private schools have, in a memorandum to the Bihar education secretary, pleaded that schools which are capable of maintaining all guidelines should be allowed to reopen.
Braj Kishore Sadanand, district education officer, said the government decided to reopen schools on a trial basis to clear students’ doubts. It hoped students of higher classes would attend.
An attendance below 15% indicates that parents are still not willing to send their wards to school, he added.
Asked about students attending coaching institutes but not schools, he said: “Most such students belong to government schools or are flying candidates (students who enrolled but did not attend classes).”