Ministry of Education (MoE) aims to continue with its plans for uninterrupted education despite the lockdown caused by the community transmission of COVID-19.
“Even if the mass transmission happens, education may not be interrupted,” said the Education Minister Jai Bir Rai. He added that the online teaching learning would go on unabated.
Education Minister said the students in classes X and XII have completed their syllabus and have now moved to revision phase, whereas the students in classes IX and XI will attend their classes online via Google Classroom.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister Dasho (Dr) Lotay Tshering said that the government has discussed two broad lines to continue education.
One is in the red zones where they treat boarders and day scholars differently where the boarder can go on with classes in containment mode as it would be better to have a 1,000 students on campus than releasing them in the community as potential carriers.
The PM said day scholars can start attending schools in those districts where there are no cases for 7 to 8 days and where no primary contacts can be traced as going to those places before 20th December.
Lyonchhen said that on the other hand schools like YHS, Lungtenzampa, Nima in Thimphu will have to be closed and there has to be online learning. He said the government can support through data charges.
Lyonchhen said that in the case of remote places school can go on as normal but the inter district movement would be very strict with compulsory checking to move from Thimphu and Paro to other districts unless the two Dzongkhags are not thoroughly combed and come clean.
The 14 students from Shaba Higher Secondary School (HSS) and 2 students from Nima High School in Thimphu that tested positive for COVID-19 are currently placed in the isolation ward in Thimphu. The students have access to counselors and their teachers online. The rest of the students will be continuing with the online teaching learning. According to MoE, there will not be much of a problem with the online learning because all the students and teachers have already experienced it during the first lockdown.
As of 23 December, a total of 1,012 students were tested in Shaba HSS, Yangchenphu HSS, Nima High School, Lungtenzampa Middle Secondary School (MSS) and Khangkhu MSS. To help children cope mentally, psychiatrists have been put in place as well.
Meanwhile, the exams for classes X and XII are scheduled on 1 March 2021 and classes IX and XI will write their exams during the third week of February 2021.
MoE is also planning on whether to conduct online examination or most probably postpone the main exam dates if the lockdown continues and follow the government’s directives.
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