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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 01 October 2020 5.36 AM IST

This academic year will not be 'zero year', centre looking at possibility of starting classes for senior students

academic-year

NEW DELHI: The current academic year will not be a "zero year" for colleges and higher education institutions, Education Ministry officials told a parliamentary panel, indicating that they hoped to conduct exams by the end of the session, sources said. No timeline has been fixed yet by the ministry of education to reopen schools, as a majority of states are not in favour of such a move due to the continuing spike in Covid-19 cases, according to persons familiar with the matter.

While the government is looking at the possibility of starting classes for senior students from September-end or October, no final decision has been taken in this regard, they said.

They also told the panel that online classes are only meant for school children above Class 3 and only limited number of online classes are allowed for those up to Class 8. However, panel members raised questions on the viability of online classes for poor families who cannot afford mobile phones or laptop computers, the sources said.

A majority of poor families, especially in rural areas, may have one mobile phone among the members. How would their kids get access to online education, the members of Parliament asked the officials?

Panel Chairman Vinay Sahasrabuddhe suggested that children can be taught via community radio and transistor, which is cost-effective compared to mobile phones, can be provided to poor students, according to the sources. The senior BJP leader also suggested creation of a "big question bank" of all subjects for students on the basis of which questions should be asked whenever the exams are held for this academic session.

Quoting Sahasrabuddhe, the sources said it would solve the exam management-related issues and ease the anxiety and fear among students amid this coronavirus crisis.

The Education Ministry officials told the panel that this academic year will not be a "zero year", the sources said, indicating that exams will be held by the end of the academic session. School education secretary, higher education secretary, UGC chairman and other officials of the Education Ministry briefed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on human resource development on the education scenario in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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TAGS: ACADEMIC YEAR, WILL NOT BE ZERO YEAR, CENTRE, LOOKING, POSSIBILITY, STARTING CLASSES, SENIOR STUDENTS
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