Caught between poll and portions

Responding to apprehensions over the rise in number of COVID-19 cases, colleges in the district appear to have decided to complete the component of practical exam for even semester within the next two weeks.

A sense of alarm has sunk in after the district administration on Monday instructed them to expedite the process of completing portions to the maximum possible extent before month-end.

Officially, a requirement for their buildings to conduct the Assembly elections next month was cited as the reason. “Though there has been no clear-cut information from the government on resumption of in-person classes after the election, speculation over possible restriction has gained momentum,” a principal of an aided college said, requesting anonymity.

Teachers themselves are inclined to the idea of resuming online classes for completion of theory portions after the election.

“More or less, over 50% of the theory component can be completed through in-person classes for even semester from the latter part of November. The next two weeks will be utilised to complete 20% more portions and finishing the rest through online classes will not be a problem,” K.T. Tamil Mani, Associate Professor of English, Nehru Memorial College, Puthanampatti, said.

The teachers, in general, feel that safety precautions are necessary at this juncture since students have become complacent about social distancing and are moving about in groups oblivious of the risk of contracting the viral infection. Also, they are conscious about their own vulnerability due to the age factor.

“We do insist that students wear masks in classes and we also stock them in case of necessity. But, as teachers, we face the discomfort of teaching with masks on, and there is also a need for display of expression, which is not possible with them,” David Livingston, Zonal Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government College Teachers’ Association, contended.

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