Roughly 15% of the students enrolled with private, government-aided and state-run colleges are continuing with online classes for various reasons. One of these is that several Non-Resident Indian (NRI) students have not returned owing to restrictions on travel, while many parents are still very apprehensive about sending their children to colleges. One section of students, mostly from villages in Dakshina Kannada and North Karnataka, who started working in order to supplement their household income during the lockdown, have been unable to leave their jobs and return to their colleges immediately. Lack of transport facilities too is proving an obstacle for many rural students to attend classes in colleges.
Dakshina Kannada deputy director of pre-university education Mohammed Imtiyaz told that there were as many as 33,500 students in II PU across Dakshina Kannada. “While the attendance in the classrooms was around 66% on January 1, it rose to 78% two days later. The overall attendance fluctuates between 83% and 85%, Imtiyaz said.
He said that students who had joined temporary jobs had intimated them of their inability to return to classes at such short notice. “It will take them some time to return to classrooms. All of them study in government colleges,” Imtiyaz said.
On the other hand, nearly 1,000 students across the district had not enrolled for II PU owing to uncertainty over reopening of colleges and persisting apprehensions over payment of fees.
Poor bus services between villages and the nearby urban centres is yet another reason why many rural students, eager to return to classrooms, are unable to come to colleges, Imtiyaz added.
“We think that regular bus services will resume once classes start for the first year students too. The government will also resolve issues pertaining to bus pass,” he said.
Father Clifford Sequeira, principal of St Aloysius PU College said that NRI students were being allowed to attend online classes. “But we would like them to return to the campus for practical classes. All of them are likely to return by the end of the month,” he said.