Pointing to the disparity in the mode of education prior to and after the onset of the pandemic, Eva M, an SSLC student in Mangaluru, pointed out that they attended classes on the campus for 224 days earlier, as against merely 80 days, as had been the case following the outbreak of Covid. “A fortnight at school will help brush up our lessons. The online mode of education is not very effective. How can one expect to grasp the concepts of mathematics while being taught virtually,” Eva asked. The Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board has scheduled the SSLC examination from July 19 to 22.
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Echoing the concerns of students and teachers, department of public instruction (DPI) officials admitted to the inadequacy of online classes. “We opened up schools in January, but had to close them in April, when the second wave of Covid-19 peaked. I can understand the students’ concerns. That being said, we cannot be oblivious of the threat of a possible third iteration of the pandemic,” said Puttur block education officer Lokesh C.
Deputy director of public instruction Malleswamy said that many teachers were trying to reach out to their students personally, and help them revise their lessons. “Of course, the pressure of facing the examination will be greatly reduced if we could hold revision classes on the campus for two weeks. But this is a Catch-22 situation, since we cannot ignore the threat of the third wave, which is being predicted,” said Malleswamy, admitting to the trouble students were bound to face in cracking mathematics and science without sufficient personal guidance from their teachers within the confines of a classroom.
However, the DPI in Dakshina Kannada has already prepared question banks for all subjects – the questions being in the multiple choice format – to help students prepare for the upcoming examination. The banks have been prepared in both Kannada and English.