Decision on reopening of schools after Oct 2

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Panaji: In view of the rising COVID-19 positive cases and deaths linked to the dreaded virus, the Goa government has decided to take a call on reopening of schools only for Std X and XII students after October 2, 2020.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced the government’s plan on reopening of schools after interacting with stakeholders from the education sector on Thursday.

The Chief Minister held a virtual meeting with education stakeholders to discuss their views on the reopening of schools and also the implementation of the New Education Policy 2021 in Goa.

Secretary education Nila Mohanan, chairman of committee on implementation of new National Education Policy and Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar, director of education Santosh Amonkar, all the ADEIs of all talukas and representatives of different school managements, headmasters’ associations and principals’ forum attended the meet online.

Addressing the media after the meeting, the Chief Minister said a decision will be taken after carrying out another round of consultations with stakeholders after October 2, which will also depend on the situation of COVID cases in Goa at that time. He said in the meantime, students of classes X and XII can voluntarily go to schools to seek guidance from their teachers after obtaining written consent from their parents as per the guidelines mentioned in Unlock 4.

“Decision regarding reopening of schools, especially classes X and XII, will be taken only after October 2 in consultation with experts and after considering the pandemic situation,” he said, adding that the internet connectivity in remote areas of Goa is still an issue with the students which the government is trying to address as soon as possible. Sawant said about 70 per cent of the students in the state are able to attend the online classes and 30 per cent of the students, especially in the villages, have connectivity problem.

The Chief Minister appealed to the stakeholders and representatives of schools to study the New Education Policy and offer their suggestions to the state taskforce committees formed by the government.

“Every teacher, headmaster and PTA member should study the policy and give their valuable inputs to the taskforce committees. The state government wants involvement of every stakeholder in implementation of new National Education Policy in the state,” he said.

During the interaction, many stakeholders expressed their concern over the prevailing situation pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and put forward their views before the Chief Minister on reopening of the schools.