Students in the country have missed out on school because of Coronavirus, but the education ministry plans to open schools for the 2021 academic year with a few exceptions.
Chief Program Officer and officiating Director General of School Planning and Coordination Division (SPCD), Kinley Gyeltshen said this year students have lost many months due to Covid-19 pandemic so that is why there will be no winter break.
Class IX and XI will write their exam on third week of February and by end of February, they will finish their exam. Class X and XII, exams will start on 1st March and in the first two weeks of March they will be done with their exam and on third and fourth weeks of March, BCSEA will conduct evaluation simultaneously. The result will be declared on the first week of April. Ministry of Education will also do placement of class XI students for the 2021 academic year.
The classes for IX, X and XII will open by 1st April for 2021 academic year. And for class XI, they will open by mid-April. The students will get a month’s holiday.
The online classes for classes PP to VIII will end by November this year and they will get their promotion result by 18th December as usual. School reporting for these classes will be as usual.
Class PP to III, are supposed to report to school by 13th February but the date falls on Saturday, so they will report on 15th of February.
Class IV to VIII, will report on 3rd February and teachers will report to school on 1st February.
There are few exceptions for opening of schools in Punakha and Wangdue Dzongkhags. Since certain schools are being occupied by relocated students of Phuentsholing. Schools like Thinleygang Primary School, Shengana Lower Secondary School, Khuruthang Middle Secondary School and Wangdue Primary School, will open later on.
There are schools in the two Dzongkhags which starts from PP to XII, so some of these schools will not start on February because if it opens in February, then the students of lower class will disturb the students who will be writing their board exam in March. So the schools will be open after their board exams.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic will not go away next year as no one knows when the pandemic will end, the ministry has plans to continue the education system uninterrupted despite any upcoming pandemic situation.
Kinley Gyeltshen said the hope next year is that it will not have the same situation like this year but if by chance, the situation gets worse, a few things might have to change but the ministry is determined to move ahead and provide uninterrupted education for the students next year right from class PP to XII.
He also said if there is COVID positive case in one school, the region might get shut down and follow the necessary health protocols. However, it will totally depend on the situation and the instructions of the government.
He said the education ministry is confident and fearless that 2021 academic year will be better than this year since the curriculum is all prioritized and it will continue.
The prioritized curriculum is reduced to 65% to 70% though some topics and chapters will be revisited.
For students coming back after a long break especially PP to VIII, the ministry might have to provide them psycho-socio support, so that the students come back comfortably and can get back to their studies.
While for students of Phuentsholing thromde, the ministry will wait for the government’s directives on whether the schools will open there or not.
Meanwhile, Education Minister J.B Rai said education is the most important responsibility of every individual.
He said so far the ministry has been able to reach to the point of reopening of schools and this is directly due to His Majesty’s leadership of not allowing community transmission and government’s proactivity and willingness to devote time, energy and resources to keep the COVID away and convince the people to take up individual leadership to fight against the pandemic.
Lyonpo said it is due to the parents and students’ understanding and passion for education that has inspire them to work so hard and make the education system remain not only uninterrupted, but also resilient to any kind of risk involving the disruption of the education system.
However, education minister said even if the mass transmission happens, education may not be interrupted and there will be a shift from class room teaching learning to technology based teaching and learning.
The ministry is further discussing and trying to find out how to provide education uninterrupted next year and the in the following years.
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