Staff Reporter  

The Opposition Party has suggested that the government postpone the board examinations for Classes X and XII scheduled from February 14 to 28 in view of the Omicron outbreak in the country.

In a press release issued yesterday evening, the Opposition stated that going ahead with the board examinations would cause “excruciating logistical inconveniences and challenges” to both the teachers and students, as they are to operate in containment mode.

“We advise the government to postpone the board examinations for some weeks,” the press release stated.

The Opposition stated that despite the unfavourable conditions at the moment due to the Omicron outbreak, the government has decided to go ahead with the board examinations.

According to the Opposition, some schools reportedly have not completed their academic processes and are not ready for examinations due to the late reporting back of students.

“This will affect the equity in assessment, outcomes, and access to opportunities for the students,” the Opposition stated.

However, the Ministry of Education stated in a January 21 notification that the ministry decided to conduct the exams as per the decision of a high-level virtual consultative meeting the ministry held with the Prime Minister and the Education Minister.

The ministry has notified dzongkhag and thromde administrations to ensure the smooth management of the board examinations.

The Opposition Party also asked the government to provide explanations as to the cause of the Omicron outbreak. “The nation remains overwhelmed by the Omicron outbreak causing huge economic and social disruptions to the people.”

The Opposition Party stated that it was fully mindful and deeply appreciative of the efforts made by the government and all concerned to combat and ease the situation.  

“However infectious and uncontrollable Omicron variant may be by nature, we feel the massive outbreak was preventable.”

Citing the information and incidents that transpired over the week, the Opposition stated that it was understood that the import of foreign workers with neither quarantine nor antigen tests through Gelephu to the Punatsangchu hydropower project site was the “main cause of the outbreak”.

The Opposition Party called upon the government to “provide full and satisfactory explanations” to the nation on the causes, lapses, and accountability thereto for the outbreak.

The party also asked the government to not come up with new and separate by-laws (rules) related to Mines and Minerals.

It urged the government to prepare and submit the new Mines and Minerals Bill to the seventh session of the National Assembly and function within the current Act and its regulations until the new Act comes into effect.

The Prime Minister stated in his State of the Nation report that the government has revised the Mines and Minerals Management Regulations 2002 and that all mines and minerals will always be driven by the interest of the nation.

“The regulation is in the final stages and we will be endorsing it in a matter of time,” it stated.