Classes 10 and 12 open on 14th September and 9 and 11 to open on 21st September

Public ECCDs opening is up to the ministry says PM

The government has said that classes 10 and 12 will reopen on 14th September while classes 9 and 11 will take a little longer and start on 21st September.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said there is no observation required for class 10 and 12 because they are already on campus except for a few schools like YHS and Motithang in Thimphu.

“Since all the students are still in campus they just have to resume their sessions. 80 to 90 percent are on campus as they never went home except for the day students,” said the PM.

He said 9 and 11 can join in later once they can do preparations for them and they are given time to pack up and travel as inter-district travel will now be restricted.

The PM said that the SOP for students going back to school will be the same like before with hand washing, masks, physical distancing as far as possible and they should be very vigilant with flu like symptoms.

He said the campus should be managed in a contained manner. It is the same for ECCDs where there is already an understanding that it is between the owners and parents for the private ECCDs.

“In the public side since we have announced PP to class 6 will not open we might not open but for ECCDS I told Lyonpo Rai from day one that if he gets confidence that ECCDs can be managed, especially taking lessons from the way private ECCDs have been managing we have no objections as such,” said Lyonchhen.

The PM said that the Ministry of Education will decide on opening of government ECCDs because institutions will also have to take some responsibility and risk.

Meanwhile a total of 1500 students of class 9 to 12 in Phuentsholing undewent RT-PCR testing and moved to other dzongkhags on Sunday, 13th of September.

Public school students are being relocated to Punakha and Wangdue while students of Norbu Academy will be relocated to Dorokha Central School in Samtse. Yonten Kuenjung Academy and Chimithang MSS in Pasakha will not be relocated as these two schools are outside town and they will continue in a quarantine mode following safety protocols.

1500 students and 500 teachers and their family will be tested and after reaching to respective dzongkhags, the students and teachers will be in quarantine mode but the academic session will continue and after seven days they will be tested again with rapid test kits.

Education Minister Jai Bir Rai said the schools in other dzongkhags in the bordering area will continue and if any of the dzongkhags falls under red zone, then the similar relocation model will apply.

The minister also highlighted the financial challenges, transportation challenges, administrative challenges and so many other challenges linked to the relocation. The ministry will remodel the classrooms and construct more toilets.

The students will be kept in a classrooms and the ministry will be providing students with mattress, pillow and bed sheets. They need to bring their own blankets and other necessary items.

Some parents are finding it difficult to arrange clothing and other boarding necessitates, but the education minister said parents need not to worry, since the government will be providing all the boarding facilities including food and beddings except blankets.

In case of a second lockdown, the minister said the students will continue with their studies.

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