Schools in other Dzongkhags hope to open by next week
The ministry of education will not postpone the exam dates for school students.
Class IX and XI will write their exams on third week of February and by end of February, they will finish it. Class X and XII exams will start on 1st March and in the first week of March, they will be done with their exams.
Education Minister Jai Bir Rai said the students will sit for their examinations as planned earlier and there will be no changes unless the lockdown continues and then the ministry might have to postpone the examinations.
However, there is no directives from the government for now on postponing of exam dates.
Apart from the red zones of Thimphu and Paro the rest of the schools are waiting for the directives from the government and Dzongkhag COVID-19 Task Forces on the reopening of the schools.
The schools in other dzongkhags may be opening by next week depending on the situation there.
Currently, the students are taking up online classes. As for the challenges, there are not as much as compared to the first lockdown. All the primary school students are done with their exams and only students of secondary and high schools are there. And most have already covered the syllabus and so now the students are preparing for their trail examination.
Students can prepare for the examination at home also since everybody has access to internet, said the education minister.
If the lockdown prolongs, there might be changes in the dates of reporting to school. As of now Class IV and VIII will report on 3rd February and PP to III by 13th February. The Education Minister said January is almost getting over, so if the lockdown remains as it is then the students might have to take up online classes through learning management system.
The Principal of Samtse High School, Tshueltrim Dorji said they have covered all the syllabus of class X and XII, but around 90 percent of syllabus are covered for class IX and XI. As of now the school has not received any information regarding school reopening from the Dzongkhag Covid-19 Task Force. The Education Emergency Team in the school has planned Google classroom if in case the school does not reopen by Monday.
The school is following the same instruction from the education ministry on exam dates.
However, for the trail exam for class X and XII, earlier the school had fixed date on 5th January but due to lockdown, they could not proceed and so the students will sit for trail exam as soon as the school reopens.
Due to the current situation, students and teachers are unable to have face to face teaching and if in case lockdown prolongs then the school will have to switch over to online teaching.
This is challenging for teachers because many students do not turn out for online teaching and also it is not that effective.
Principal of Gelephu High School, Shambay Dawa said all schools are closed for now and are waiting for the directives as to when to reopen. For now, the students are taking up online classes. The syllabus is not yet fully covered but they are comfortable and hopefully, they will be able to do it.
The school management is also discussing about how they can have online exams or home exam if the lockdown happens again, said the Gelephu Principal.
Meanwhile, the government will take another five to six months in just procuring tablets for all students, so probably students will get their tablets by the next financial year.
The Education minister said providing tablets is not just for this kind of situation but it is to integrate ICT in teaching and learning.
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