Ministry also proposes to postpone exams for the above to March 2021
The Ministry of Education (MoE) has proposed that classes IX, X, XI and XII to be reopened when the lockdown is lifted and if the situation is under control. This means that classes Pre-Primary (PP) till VIII will be continuing with the online classes.
Education Minister Jai Bir Rai said the reason for proposing to reopen schools for class IX, X, XI and XII is because it will be difficult for the students to understand the syllabus of class X without studying in class IX and similarly XII students will find it difficult to study without sitting for classes in class XI.
The minister said although they have made a proposal, it will all depend on government’s decision whether to reopen for the above classes.
With the worsening cases in Phuentsholing and it labelled as a red zone, the education ministry has also put up proposals to the government for Phuentsholing.
The minister said if the government decides to reopen schools for class IX, X, XI, and XII in all the dzongkhags then the schools in Phuentsholing can also reopen.
Since Phuentsholing is under a red zone, the ministry has planned to relocate their classrooms to where there are hostel facilities, either in Chukha dzongkhag or in other thromdes. So all the students of class IX, X, XI and XII will be studying in one location and continue their studies after lifting of the lockdown.
The ministry has also requested the government that if any thromdes has similar cases like Phuentsholing then the ministry will replicate the same plan that will be implemented for Phuentsholing. It will be replicated in other dzongkhags as well if it falls under the red zone, the Education Minister said.
Lyonpo said class X and XII had opportunity to at least attend classes for a month while for class IX and XI, they have not had that chance.
The Ministry has also proposed to the government that the examination for class IX, X, XI and XII be postponed to March 2021.
However, the government will decide on this matter.
Lyonpo said students from classes PP to VIII are mainly very young and vulnerable and they will not understand or find it difficult to follow health protocols.
Also, most of the schools are being used as FCBL storage and some are for COVID-19 centers. So due to inadequate space, the ministry has also looked into this issue and decided not to reopen schools for them.
Lyonpo said if the lockdown is lifted and people cooperate in combating the infections, the ministry has also put up a proposal to the government on re-opening of Early Childhood Care and Development centers (ECCD), Non-Formal Education (NFE) and special education institutes in the country.
However, if the place falls under a red zone then it may not be possible.
Meanwhile, Lyonpo reminded that the essence of education doesn’t mean teaching and learning alone. He requested all the parents to at least monitor their children.
Since all the students will be studying online, parents are requested to be careful with the cyber issues, he said.
The minister said it is a huge challenge for the parents, but he requests all the parents to understand the situation of the country. There are some challenges where the teachers are not able to follow up with their students for online classes. Lyonpo thanked all the parents and students for cooperating and said, “Soon this storm will pass and we will have a beautiful day again.”
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