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Tamil Nadu: Govt shuts schools, exams postponed

Hijab row: Schools worry about impact of frequent school closure

February 9, 2022
Reshma Ravishanker

Karnataka government’s decision to keep schools shut for three days has worried private schools as they fear that such frequent disruption in education will fail to hold a student’s interest towards learning.

Karnataka reopened schools and colleges on July 31 after a fortnight’s break when the Covid-19 cases peaked during the third wave of the pandemic. While some schools in the State are offering hybrid learning options, others have resumed in-person classes. Even as students resume education and crawl back towards normalcy, the three-day holiday in the wake of the Hijab row is not welcome by schools.

MN Natesh Kumar, principal, Gurukula International School said that the school saw a 10-20 % dip in attendance on Wednesday across classes. “Parents are worried and confused. Initially news channels said that all schools would be shut but we later received a circular that it was classes 9 and 10. This is one of the reasons,” he said.

Natesh said that this would further disrupt continued education. “This is one period where a lot of fairs are held in villages. Parents took the two-day-break as an opportunity to take the children to their hometown. They will not return before Monday. Attendance will see a dip again,” he rued.

Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka said that although it did not impact attendance much in Bengaluru, parents were confused about the  order. “I have no words to describe the situation we are in currently. Children are losing interest in education because of the lack of continuity. As if the pandemic itself has not created enough havoc, now this political agenda comes in. Those behind this issue fail to understand that it will have a cascading effect on the minds of children. At this age, it is incorrect to instill so much hate in their minds. Be it Hindu or Muslim students, both of them are bound to develop a certain dislike towards the other community. Shutting down of schools, access to uncensored media content in this regard is causing harm beyond imagination,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gayethri Devi B,  principal, Little Flower Public School expressed, “Children missing out on a certain mindset that they must have because of frequent closure of schools and a discontinued teaching-learning experience. It will have a huge physical and psychological impact.”  

Also read: Karnataka: High Court refers Hijab issue to a larger bench

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