Most students still in quarantine

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Although schools in Samdrupjongkhar had reopened with the Covid-19 preventive protocols on September 28, most of the students would report to their respective schools only on October 4 as they are under a weeklong quarantine.

Schools in the thromde would also open on October 4 as the dzongkhag Covid-19 task force had submitted a proposal for the stipend to the National Task Force Committee (NTFC) for students who will be kept in containment mode.

According to the notification issued by the task force on September 22, besides the normal Covid-19 preventive protocols like washing hands, use of face masks and physical distancing, schools would also have to maintain an inventory of day students with travel history of their parents and family members to ascertain the vulnerability of Covid-19 and implement prioritised curriculum as per the guidelines of the ministry of education.

The notification stated that all students of class IX to XII staying in Samdrupjongkhar thromde would have to undergo mandatory seven-day quarantine and get RT-PCR test for Covid-19. Their joining of schools would depend on the test results.

Students of classes IX to XII staying in the town areas of Jomotshangkha, Samdrupcholing and Dewathang would also have to get RT-PCR test for Covid-19 without having to undergo facility quarantine.

Those schools receiving students from Samdrupjongkhar thromde should verify the Covid-19 test results of the students on their reporting to schools and follow other measures of Covid-19 preventive protocols. This also applies to students coming from the town areas of Jomotshangkha, Samdrupcholing and Dewathang, the notification stated.

The Chief Dzongkhag Education Officer (CDEO), Kinzang Dendup said although the education ministry had provided the standard operation procedure (SoP), schools had also developed their SoP as per the health protocols.

He said the task force quarantined  87 students staying in Samdrupjongkhar thromde who study in schools outside the thromde on September 26. “The health officials would conduct the RT-PCR test on October 3 and release if they test negative.”

The CDEO said that the dzongkhag administration would arrange transportation to drop the students to Dungsam Academic, Karmaling higher secondary school and Orong central school on October 4. “All the schools are ready.”

The thromde education officeR (TEO), Dorji Gyalpo, said about 264 students are studying in the thromde schools- Dungsam Academic and Samdrupjongkhar middle secondary school. Of the 264 students, 33 from the thromde and 72 from Dewathang are day students of Dungsam Academic.

“We have submitted a proposal for stipend for these students to the NTFC as we would have to keep them in containment in the school as the thromde is considered the high-risk zone,” Dorji Gyalpo said.