Gurugram schools start new academic session with virtual classesUpdated: Mar 30, 2020 22:45 IST
Schools across the city have started the new academic session with virtual classes to ensure that the learning process continues unabated even as their campuses remain closed amid the threat of the coronavirus disease. The Haryana government had announced the closure of schools, colleges, universities and industrial training institutes across the state on March 13 as a containment measure, given the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In the days following the announcement, several schools started online classes without waiting for April when the new session usually starts. Others will be commencing the new session from next week.
While most schools are planning to follow the routine timetable and hold online classes, some schools have also moved up their summer vacation to April to maintain the academic schedule. Schools need to have a minimum of 200 working days for classes one to five and 220 working days for upper primary classes in an academic year, as mandated by Section 19 of the Right To Education Act, 2009.
Heritage Xperiential Learning School began its new academic session on Monday and will be holding classes virtually, as per the regular time table. “We have launched a robust ‘Virtual Learning’ programme for all grades to ensure that the education of our students is not hampered due to the Coronavirus situation. Under the programme, students are seamlessly receiving education from their teachers while at home,” Neena Kaul, principal, Heritage Xperiential Learning School, said.
Kaul said that the school was awaiting necessary directives from the state government on the matter of summer holidays and had advised parents, teachers and other staff to avoid making any travel plans until there was clear information on the summer holiday schedule. “We are sensitive towards the request of the parent community on the change in the summer holiday schedule. We are awaiting necessary directives from the government of Haryana on this matter and will take action accordingly,” Kaul said.
DAV Public School, Sector 14, has been holding online classes for the new session since March 23. “We are using Zoom for classes 6 and above, and other applications for smaller grades. Teachers are preparing their videos and online lessons for all classes,” Aparna Erry said. The school was awaiting government directives to take a call on the summer vacation. “There is a lot of uncertainty all around. We will wait till a clearer picture emerges,” Erry said.
The new academic session at Shiv Nadar School will commence on April 7. During the past two weeks, since the school closed, it has been conducting online learning sessions for middle and senior school students. The school will scale up the online learning setup for all the grades next week. As per a circular issued by the school to parents, the summer break is scheduled from May 8 to June 15. The circular also states that the plan might be revised if fresh directions are issued by the Education ministry. In such a situation, the dates for the summer break can be advanced.
Amity International School, Sector 43, had started its new session as early as March 16, except for nursery and Class 11. “We are using Microsoft Teams for students in classes 6-12. For younger students, we are opting for videos, presentations, and simple materials,” Anshu Arora, school principal, said. Arora added that online classes were taking place smoothly and the school was sticking to its regular schedule. “There is no reason as to why we should shift the break or anything else. Classes are going well, without any disruption. The students’ education is not being hampered,” she said, adding that a decision on the break would be taken by the management.
Scottish High International School, Gurugram, has postponed the new academic session to ensure that students do not lose any full working days. The session which was to start on April 6 will now begin on May 18.
In a circular to parents, the school wrote, “While online learning, remote access, technology-based teaching are wonderful methods to augment, support, and facilitate learning, the school firmly believes that personal student-teacher contact time is vital... While online learning may continue, the total number of working days of the students on the school premises shall continue to remain the same as every year, including the first quarter.”
Despite repeated attempts, district education officer Indu Boken could not be reached for comment.