HYDERABAD: With no improvement in the coronavirus pandemic situation in sight in the state, the Telangana government is gearing up to conduct regular online classes through digital education. The state government on Monday issued an order announcing that the 2020-2021 education year for all schools in the state would commence from September 1. The state government has taken the decision to conduct regular online classes due to the remote possibility of schools reopening in the face of unabated spread of coronavirus in the state.
The classes will be conducted via various digital, TV, T-SAT network channels and platforms. Special Chief Secretary, Education, Chitra Ramachandran issued the government order here on Monday allowing online classes in all schools as part of e-learning and distance education.
In the directive issued on Monday, the state government has stated that online classes would be conducted for students of third standard and above. It however hastened to add that these online classes would be held strictly as per the Centre’s guidelines in this regard. As a preparatory move for this, the Telangana government has ordered all the teachers to turn up for work at their schools from August 27th itself and prepare the requisite e-content lesson plans, among others.
As far as the issue of reopening of schools and beginning of regular classes are concerned, the state government made it clear that separate instructions would be issue in tune with the Union government’s guidelines in this regard. The order thus implied that till the time the Centre takes a call on this, all the schools in the state should remain closed and classes for students should be undertaken only online.
The decision comes following a meeting of the cabinet sub-committee which was held on August 5th. The cabinet sub-committee was constituted to study the feasibility of commencing the academic year in the state. The sub-committee, among several issues, held detailed deliberations on the date of commencement of the academic year, the admissions process and on the ways to be adopted for teaching in the post-COVID era.
The decision assumes significance as it comes in the midst of a swarm of speculations on what would be the fate of the forthcoming academic year in the state. Several theories floated around on what the state government could possibly do to ensure an uninterrupted academic year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At one point, there were also suggestions that the state government could be doing away with the academic year keeping in view the severity of the spread of the dreaded virus.
But ever since the human resources ministry of the Union government indicated that the academic year would not be allowed to go waste, hopes of online classes as the most viable option have blossomed once again. The Centre is however not in favour of reopening schools, colleges and other educational institutions due to the high risk factor which could contribute to further spread of the deadly virus. All educational institutions including schools and colleges remain shut since the time India went into a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus on March 24th.