Summer vacation for a section of Class IX pass-outs from the municipal schools across the State might not be the same as it would be for the rest of the school students enjoying the break in May, the peak summer month. In the name of ‘Gnandhara Plus’, the Municipal Administration Department is conducting ‘Smart Programme’ with focus on slow learners as well as top performers at 58 centres in 46 Urban Local Bodies of the State starting Wednesday.
Each centre will have two sections, one for slow learners and the other for the rest of the students who turn up, officials say. Across the State, students will be taught select topics in physics, mathematics, Hindi, biology and English with activities and exercises and a daily exam in the last hour will be conducted from the second week. Each period is given 50 minutes and students have to sit through the five-hour programme that will have a 10-minute break.
Though the project is being opposed by municipal teachers and other stakeholders, the department is going ahead citing the fact that the School Education Department conducted a similar programme in the State in 2018 summer.
“There are three centres in the city where classes will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Slow learners are recommended to take the classes as they will help them perform better in SSC exams. Each centre will have two sections including one for slow learners. We will provide all facilities for the students,” said Deputy Educational Officer (VMC) M. Nagalingeswara Rao. In the centre at G.D.E.T. Municipal High School, Patamata, about 70 students will attend the classes and list of students for other centres are being finalised, Mr. Rao said.
“We were asked to send a list of interested students and out of 150 Class IX students, only about 30 gave their names. We forwarded the same to the department. Many students and parents are hesitating as they need to travel a long distance to reach the centre in Patamata from their homes in Moghalrajpuram area in tough weather,” a headmaster told The Hindu on condition of anonymity. While admitting that it is not allowed to conduct classwork during summer vacation, District Educational Officer M.V. Rajyalakshmi said that the Education Department has no role or information regarding the municipal department’s programme. “
But the municipal teachers are worried over the programme as it causes trouble not just to them but also the students who could be subjected to severe mental and physical stress due to daily long journeys braving the hot weather.