Other Southern dzongkhags defer midterm examination

Yangchen C Rinzin 

With midterm examination scheduled from July 1, students of Phuentsholing will not have a midterm examination for Classes IV-XII but will be rated based on the continuous formative assessment through the ongoing online classes.

After a 73-day lockdown in Phuentsholing since April 17, four public and two private schools have also remained closed.

The education ministry has approved the Phuentsholing Thromde’s request to assess students through online teaching.

Thromde education officer, Norbu Gyeltshen, said that it was decided based on the current situation that teachers would continue to assess students until July 24 after which students will break for the summer break. “The assessment will be considered as the midterm exam,” he said. “Teachers will continue to work on the assessment and miss the summer break.”

Norbu Gyeltshen said that although online examination was considered in the beginning it was realised that it would be tedious given some students had difficulty in accessing online classes or in some cases access to proper smart phones.

“Also, we can’t have exams because many schools were not able to complete the syllabus before the lockdown was declared,” he said, adding admission of 165 Class XI students were also conducted online during the lockdown giving less time to have contact teaching.

However, some parents were confused whether the ministry is either looking into relocating students from Phuentsholing or not after the education minister Jai Bir Rai during Q&A session in the on-going Parliament session said that ministry has worked on the plan to relocate if necessary.

Some of the parents shared that the ministry could make Class VIII-XII study in containment mode instead of relocating.

Norbu Gyeltshen said that the thromde office had proposed education ministry that if students of Classes IX-XII (about 970 students) could be relocated to other dzongkhags and Classes VII-VIII (about 600 students) could study in containment mode.

The thromde is yet to receive the response.

However, an official from the ministry said that they are still working on how or where to relocate if the ministry decides to relocate, but nothing has been decided as yet. “Yet, we decided to approve the request for not conduction the exam since the situation is different in Phuentsholing.”

Meanwhile, the education ministry has also approved Samdrupjongkhar thromde’s request to defer the examination for 322 students of Samdrupjongkhar Middle Secondary School because of disruption in the learning due to a month lockdown in May.

Thromde education officer, Dorji Gyalpo, said that it was decided to defer the exam for these students since they were most affected as places where a majority of students were residing in either demarcated as yellow zone or red buildings.

“These students missed the classes completely. Despite online classes, many students missed the lessons,” Dorji Gyalpo said. “Students will be sent for a break as scheduled that is after July 15 and then conduct the exam after the break, which is in August.”

However, the rest of the schools have planned to have exams as per the schedule since the lockdown did not affect the classes.

Except for two schools in Jomotsangkha Drungkhag, Monmola Primary School, and Lauri Primary School, rest of the 23 schools will have exams as scheduled under Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag.

Dzongkhag education officer, Kinzang Dendup, said that examination in these two schools would depend on the result of mass testing conducted on June 27. “If the lockdown is lifted in these areas, students will have exams as scheduled. Else, we might have to defer exam for them too.”

Samtse’s dzongkhag education officer Karma Sonam Chophel said that midterm examination was deferred by about a week, which means exams would be held from July 9.

However, he said that two schools in Phuentshopelri (Gomtu) would depend on the situation where the area is still under lockdown following community case detected. “If the lockdown continues then we’ll have to defer the examination beyond July 9.”

Karma Sonam Chophel added that the exams had to be deferred because some students could not complete their lessons online during the lockdown. “So, they want to first bridge the lessons for a week before conducting the exam.”

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk