Students of P/ling to be relocated to Punakha and Wangdue

Classes for X and XII to re-open from Monday

Yangchen C Rinzin

The education ministry will relocate 1,580 Class X and XII students and teachers of both public and private schools in Phuentsholing to other schools beginning today.

Education Minister Jai Bir Rai said the public school students will be relocated to Punakha and Wangdue while students of Norbu Acadamy will be moved to Dorokha Central School in Samtse.

Lyonpo said that students would be shifted to Shengana Lower Secondary School (LSS), Thinleygang Primary School (PS), and Kuruthang Middle Secondary School (MSS) in Punakha. Some of the students will be relocated to Wangdue PS in Wangdue.

“We’re shifting to these schools since the academic session for lower classes is closed. But Chimithangka MSS in Pasakha will not be relocated and will continue in a quarantine mode.”

Lyonpo said that there was no risk since the school is outside Phuentsholing town and there was enough space for teachers to stay in schools like a contained cohort.

The classes are expected to start on September 15. However, another private school, Yonten Kuenjung Academy will not be relocated, as it is located outside Phuentsholing town but must follow safety protocol.

Lyonpo said that this relocation model will apply to any school hereafter if the area is declared a red zone.

The board exams for Classes X and XII are also postponed to March 2021, as proposed by the education ministry. Exams for Classes IX and XI are expected to be a month before board exams.

Meanwhile, the government yesterday announced that Classes X and XII will resume from September 14 after it had remained closed following nationwide lockdown. On-campus learning for Classes IX and XI will resume from September 21. The schools have remained close since March.

However, schools in the south will have to wait until the unlocking procedures are complete to begin classes.   

The government also allowed technical and vocational training institutes, including private driving and tailoring courses to resume. Colleges will also reopen but the Royal University of Bhutan would announce the details separately.

Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said that ensuring proper spacing and other Covid-19 etiquettes, all kinds of business entities would be allowed to open from today.

Eateries and restaurants can allow sit-in customers but must not exceed 50 percent of the capacity. “But we would advise people to opt for delivery and take-away services.”

Barbershops and salons can also operate ensuring only 50 percent of capacity considering the heightened risk including video game parlours and snooker will also be allowed to operate.

“Informal businesses and street vendors can also operate,” Lyonpo said. “But they must wear facemasks and follow food safety procedures.”

The businesses have to close at 9pm.

Sports

Lyonpo said that sports facilities like gym, yoga, dance studios and rubber tracks can also operate and likewise non-contact sports of athletics and golf, and partial contact sports of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

“Other games like futsal, football turfs and basketball courts can also operate, but without spectators. Archery can be played with only 15 participants.”

Parks and public places will also remain open. But all social events will be still restricted unless limited to family members. Cremation and funeral rites and other rituals at home will be permitted but without gathering.

However, all the official meetings, seminars, workshops and travels will be restricted.

“Those events or activities that are not mentioned are still being reviewed including the opening of ECCDs,” Lyonpo said.

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