National

Educationist suggests rescheduling of academic calendar

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on April 16, 2020 Published on April 16, 2020

The new academic year 2020-21 should be limited for eight months from September to April without any break (except government holidays and Sundays)   -  The Hindu

Many students and schools cannot afford online classes, opines Manjunath

Academic calendars of many States have gone awry due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. State education boards in many States are yet to conduct annual examinations for different classes. Many educationists and parents are worried about the academic calendar of 2020-21 due to this development.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, CK Manjunath, an educationist and principal of one of the pre-university colleges in Dakshina Kannada district, has suggested some measures to the Centre to help streamline the academic calendar for 2020-21.

Manjunath told BusinessLine that the immediate actions include rescheduling of academic year 2020-21 from June to September. This rescheduling will help complete the current academic year’s remaining examinations of 10th and 12th standards and other competitive/entrance examinations comfortably, and announce the results in a justifiable manner.

8-month academic year

He said the new academic year 2020-21 should be limited for eight months from September to April without any break (except government holidays and Sundays). This can be further divided into two semesters of four months each with reduced portions in each semester.

He suggested the authorities to work on revamping the semester for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes also.

Stressing the need to relook and plan the competitive/entrance examinations properly, he said most of private colleges and coaching institutes are pressurising students and parents to take up online programmes by paying extra.

Online

On the thrust on online classes in many places, he said many students below the poverty line and some of the government schools and colleges cannot afford online classes. Specially-abled students may or may not have sufficient ability to handle online classes.

He said although online classes with specialised subjects can help self-motivated students, each student is different in his/her IQ, ability and communication. Good education can be imparted to all students only through one-to-one interactions. Online classes do not allow such personal touch or personal interactions that are necessary in schools and pre-university colleges.

He said the productivity of online classes are not yet well-established for school education. Added to this, internet facility is not good in some rural areas.

Manjunath said the lockdown and post-lockdown period can be a double-edged sword for students, if not used properly. In such a situation, schools and colleges should encourage students to learn soft skills that can be practised at home.

Published on April 16, 2020

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