The Parents’ Consent

Monday, 18 January 2021



The Parents’ Consent

Swapnil Bharali | December 20, 2020 16:37 hrs

With schools, colleges, universities (including hostels thereof) set to open January onwards, the operative words crucial to the return of normalcy on the campus are “with parents’ consent.”  

The parents’ consent is the overriding rider that will determine the strength of attendance in a physical classroom. And this is set to bring in a whole lot of confusion and complexity as to how teaching would be imparted hereafter in its shift from online to offline medium.

Let’s take the current example of Gauhati University that is limping back to normalcy with physical classes purportedly resuming and hostels being gradually filled up. Now, it is quite clear that some parents have consented to their wards returning to classes and at the last count, it has been observed that classes are witnessing around 20% attendance. Further, it has been reported that most of the students, having been subjected to online classes for the past several months, were completely at sea when it came to a proper comprehension of their lessons and are now grappling to come to grips with the same in their physical classrooms.

The currently thin physical attendance brings to the fore the crucial question of what will happen to those students whose parents have not given their consent. Would such students continue to expect to be given online tuitions by the same professors who would also be taking physical classes in the universities and colleges? Would that be humanly possible? Certainly not! And so, would that mean that the students whose parents fear from giving their consent would be foregoing classes completely? This confusion is going to prevail heavily in the coming days of January and to add to that would be the commencement of the examination season. 

As regards exams, confusion is already prevailing with students of a few technical courses/institutions alleging that their university has done a volte-face by scheduling intermediate examinations for the semester from which they were already promoted during the lockdown. This is pertaining to the B Pharma courses which fall under the purview of PCI rather than UGC. 

Given this state of affairs, the education departments, both at the state and at the Centre, need to come up with a comprehensive policy and a clear statement thereafter on what the future course of action would be when it comes to the all important matter of imparting high school, college and university education failing which the losses would be terrible.

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