Dharamshala: The Department of Education, CTA convened a virtual meeting of heads of three school systems in India to discuss the reopening of schools. The meeting was chaired by Education Kalon Dr. Pema Yangchen in presence of Secretary Karma Singey and Head of Academic Section Tenzin Dorjee from DOE. Mr. Thupten Dorjee, President and Mr. Sonam Sichoe from Tibetan Children’s Village, Mr. Karma Chungdak, General Secretary of Tibetan Homes Foundation, and Mr. Tsering Dhondup, Director and Mr. Tsewang Norbu, Deputy Director from Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society were present in the virtual meeting from each of the three school systems.
Education Kalon in her opening remarks applauded all the school systems for the initiatives taken towards enhancing the student learning, and in particular, the Teachers who are putting huge effort and working so hard to support their student learning at home through various modes of virtual teaching despite facing challenges due to COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. She also thanked the school systems for their genuine support by making their teachers readily available for the online and video teaching program organised by DOE, and in providing institutional quarantine centre for the Tibetan students returning from colleges and Tibetan schools.
During the meeting, the heads of each school system apprised the matter pertaining to academic and other activities being carried out during the lockdown, and the preparation being made for the return of their children before the reopening of schools. As per the latest MHA Guidelines for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 1), a decision on the re-opening of schools and other educational institutions will be taken in the month of July 2020 based on the feedback provided by State Governments, UT administrations, Parents and other stakeholders. Guidelines and SOP are being prepared by the concerned administrations and DOE, CTA that may come into effect after the re-opening of schools is allowed. Therefore, in view of the guidelines, the three school systems unanimously agreed to re-open the schools in a phased manner. However, safely re-opening schools will remain DOE’s first priority. Therefore, DOE will provide the funding necessary for disinfecting and sanitizing the schools to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In the first phase, when the school re-opens, classes X and XII would be started keeping in view the importance of the board examination. The schools will properly follow social distancing and other guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19. DOE and the schools will review the situation after a few weeks to understand the problems and challenges faced by the schools. Accordingly, the schools will start classes IX and XI in the second phase.
A discussion was also held regarding the preparations being made by the schools for conducting examination of the remaining papers. As per notification provided by CBSE dated June 2, 2020, the schools have provided necessary guidelines and direction to all the concerned students.
DOE has released relief money of INR 2000 each for the 924 students stranded in 19 residential schools in India amounting to INR 18,48,000. Therefore, Secretary Karma Singey urged the concerned school offices to make sure the pocket money reaches the students in time. He further stated that the schools may contact DOE for any support needed by their students to reach the examination centres and that DOE will extend necessary help accordingly.
-filed by Department of Education