Classes VI-VIII students will have blended teaching-learning in a shift system while PP-III will go for remote learning in Phuentsholing

The reopening of schools for classes PP to III in Phuentsholing will purely depend on the COVID-19 pandemic situation. In the meantime, students will continue their studies through remote learning.

The Education Minister Jai Bir Rai said children are more susceptible to the new COVID-19 variants, therefore, he requested the parents of primary students to enroll their children in other schools temporarily till the situation gets under control.

The parents do not have to leave Phuentsholing but they can enroll their children in nearby schools, like in Lochina School. Pachu Primary schools, Lingden Community school and there are few more schools where contact teaching is still going on.

Each school can accommodate at least 100 students, so parents can always explore other options if they really want. The education ministry and the thromde will facilitate them. Almost 1,000 students in classes ranging from PP-XII have already enrolled in schools in other low-risk dzongkhags, said the education minister.

 Phuentsholing students may continue online teaching learning but they will be assessed every day. The minister said assessment through LMS is far better than contact teaching because the system itself captures whether the student is studying or not and their cognitive level. During their final exam, the question papers will be prepared well suited for them.

However, there will be challenges.

A Learning Management System (LMS) will be more effective to senior students than the junior students, the minister further added.

An official from the Phuentsholing Thromde said, there are two schools in Zone I and three schools and a college in Zone II, so if the situation is under control, they have decided to do it in a blended mode, where students will have a contact teaching and online teaching. So if the situation improves then definitely schools will be open for contact teaching.

Phuentsholing, being the biggest economic hub, has to serve the entire 20 dzongkhags, so there will be positive cases detected and it is risky for the school going children, the official added.

Thromde Education Officer of Phuentsholing said many schools have proposed a blended mode of learning in a shift system, however, after assessing the situation then only can they decide on this. He said the plan for blended teaching learning was in place from the Day-1 of lockdown.

For class PP to VIII, the education ministry has activated LMS and hopes for good days of online teaching-learning. Now teachers are also quite experienced in teaching online as well as students.

The only worry is children with no gadgets if they have to go with online teaching-learning this year because during the lockdown, children used their parent’s smart phones or tablets.

The two private schools will be studying through self-containment mode, he added.

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