Parents, teachers want schools kept shut till year end

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Panaji: The report prepared by the department of education after consulting stakeholders in the educational sector as regards reopening of schools in the state maintains that classes should not be reopened in Goa till the end of the year, which is a reflection of the views of majority of these stakeholders.

In South Goa, parents and teachers in talukas such as Salcete and Mormugao want no school to open till end of the year, while those in Canacona and Quepem talukas want the government to start Class IX and Class X after the festival of Diwali.

In North Goa, most of the stakeholders are in favour of keeping the schools shut till December 31, 2020.

The report has been prepared by the education department after following inputs from the zonal education offices. It is expected to be submitted to the government in the next two or three days.

Highly placed sources informed this daily that most of the school students, irrespective of whether they stay in urban or rural areas, study in the urban schools. “Therefore, the urban schools have up to 1,500 students, which makes their monitoring process vis-à-vis COVID-19 guidelines very difficult,” the sources added, pointing out that in comparison, the rural schools have very limited number of students and keeping a check on them becomes easy.

Many of the parents told the department of education that it should consider promoting students from Class I to Class VIII, based on internal assessments conducted via online classes and this process would now become more easier, as the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has curtailed the syllabus from Class I to Class VIII by 30 per cent, for the academic year 2020-21.

The government will take decision on reopening of the classes based on the report.

Incidentally, Mizoram reopened its schools recently and then decided to close them down after students were found positive for COVID-19.