Attendance is not mandatory for online classes in the state and assignments given to children during such classes will not be part of their final performance evaluation, said the department of school education in an order.
A letter issued by the Commissioner of School Education, Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, to all Chief Educational Officers (CEOs) in the state on Saturday, directed that “no teacher shall compel students to attend online classes by using terms like ‘shall’, ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘compulsory’, ‘will be counted in attendance’, ‘grades/marks/evaluation are based on this’, etc”.
Teachers have also been directed to take responsibility and ensure that all students who have been absent from online sessions are suitably coached and brought on par with other students, when the school reopens.
Sigy Thomas said that the schools will have to conduct special classes for those students who missed to attend the online sessions, once the school re-opens. He warned against the schools who force the economically behind students, to attend their online classes. The Commissioner further said the respective Chief Educational Officers will ensure that the schools in their districts will abide these Government norms and guidelines while conducting online classes.
In is to considered that Tamil Nadu Education Minister Sengottaiyan had also said that his department would take stern action against the schools that force the parents to remit full fee.
He also said “We already had instructed all schools through chief educational officers in their respective districts in connection with forced fee collection. The department has set up a separate cell to lodge complaint against the schools which do so”.
The letter also stated that while assessments and assignments can be done online, they cannot be made mandatory or counted towards final performance evaluation. Parents, guardians or others who lend their devices to children shall have complete freedom on whether to let their wards attend online classes, based on personal circumstances and safety perceptions.