As all we know, due to COVID-19 Education system is in a dilemma. In this situation, Assam government has framed a set of guidelines and sought views from stakeholders.
All educational institutions have remained closed not only in Assam but also across the country since March because of the pandemic. Assam is thinking over resumption of informal education in both government and private schools from September 1, if possible.
Laskar, joint secretary in the Assam higher education department issued the guidelines on Tuesday. These guidelines have been uploaded in the state SarbaSikshaAbhiyan website for public viewing and to submit opinions.
The guidelines state the classes won’t be compulsory and interested students would have to inform their institutions earlier. They should wear masks to attend informal classes and maintain physical distance of 8 feet while attending classes.
Other conditions also mandatory COVID-19 tests for teachers, resource persons, education department staff etc. Between August 23 and August 30 to be able to attend classes and sanitation of venues to be used for informal classes before classes start and thereafter on interval of every 15 days.
However, online education being conducted to students at present by using digital devices will continue as usually.
Guidelines of Assam Government
According to the guidelines, students from classes I to IV don’t have to come to school.But their parents/guardian can collect hard copies of their assignments while collecting rations meant for mid-day meals.
The completed assignments can be submitted during the next visit to school. The teachers will evaluate them to utilize as results for unit exams. Teachers for these classes will have to visit school.
For classes V to VIII, four venues like community halls, libraries, open fields, courtyard of houses etc. Those will have to be identified outside school premises where students in groups of 15 will be conducted classes in batch wise.
Students from classes IX to XII will have to attend classes in schools where they will attend 4 classes of 45 minutes duration each in groups of 15 for six days of the week except Sunday. Students can attend classes nearest to their homes even if they are not enrolled there and retired teachers can select to take classes.
Students of final semester of graduation in colleges as well as students of classes XI and XII studying in colleges will have to follow the guidelines. These guidelines issued for students of classes IX to XII in schools. A separate set of detailed rules will be also issued after receiving feedback from public.
Final semester students in medical and engineering colleges have also been asked to follow the same set of rules for classes as those framed for classes IX to XII. Other guidelines will be issued by directorates of medical and technical education at later dates.
Comments over the Guidelines
“As a parent, I want schools to reopen as studies have been impact by COVID. But it won’t be wise to conduct classes in open fields like ‘gurukul’ due to the weather conditions at present. Instead classes should be held in classrooms after sanitizing them properly,” said JuriSaikia, mother of the class VIII student in Tezpur.
“We are already conducting online classes for all our students. At present we would prefer continuing with the same format of imparting education instead of reopening schools till the COVID-19 situation eases,” said Geeta Dutta Baruah, principal, Shrimanta Shankar Academy-Guwahati.
“All the universities are also directed to start academic activities as per their own suitability and as per the guidelines received from University Grants Commission (UGC),” said the guidelines.
All stakeholders have been informed to submit their aspectsbyAugust 20 on the following email id: firstname.lastname@example.org
“We are yet to go through all the guidelines. The only issue that could pose a problem is that the one about conducting classes in open fields. Not many schools in urban area will have such fields. Schools should be allowed to teach students in classrooms while maintaining social distance,” said RatulGoswami, general secretary, Assam State Primary Teachers Association.
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