Kolkata school authorities in the dark over resumption of on-campus classes
With the West Bengal government yet to take a call on when schools can resume offline classes, city schools have no inkling whether on-campus process could begin this year or they have to continue with online arrangements till the pandemic situation improves.
Principal of B D Memorial Bijoya Choudhury told PTI on Tuesday, the school authorities will initiate the process to start classes with COVID-19 protocols once they receive the advisory from the state education department.
“As of now, we are continuing online mode of teaching and learning in all sections,” she said.
Asked if the school plans to charge COVID-19 fee from students, she said there is no such proposal.
Principal of Loyola High School Father Rodney Borneo said, “We don’t know when the school can be opened for students. The situation is fluid. We will entirely depend on the government recommendations in this regard.” With the Calcutta High Court order to 145 private schools here to offer a minimum 20 per cent reduction in fees across the board and not permitting non-essential charges for use of facilities not availed of, there is no proposal to factor-in the cost of enforcing COVID-19 safety measures as and when classes start in the school premises, he said.
“We have no idea when in-person classes will begin in schools. All arrangements will be in place as the safety of students remains our priority,” he said.
Secretary, La Martiniere Schools, Kolkata, Supriyo Dhar said, “There are no updates about the resumption of offline classes as it entirely depends on the assessment of the situation by the government. We will do the needful as and when required.” He said, there was no immediate plan to introduce any COVID-19 fee, but when classes resume in school premises, the authorities will certainly have to spend a lot to implement every single safety step.
“That will be a big expense but we will have to find ways to fund it,” he said.
Principal of Rammohan Mission School Sujoy Biswas said, the state is yet to issue guidelines about the ways to sanitise classes and make students follow all norms, but the school authorities on their part have adopted certain measures like procuring no-contact temperature guns, order hand sanitisers to be kept at several points of the building, and masks for those who may have damaged the same.
State-run and state-aided schools also said, they were yet to receive any advisory from the government.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee have not announced any schedule for resuming classes in schools which had been suspended since mid-March.
Chatterjee had said, no decision would be taken which would endanger the safety of students.
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