Phurpa Lhamo

While primary and lower secondary teachers in green zones will report to schools today, those in the red zones will not.

As per the notification from the Ministry of Education on February 4, in line with reopening schools for this academic year, teachers of primary and lower secondary schools were to report to schools today.

However, teachers in Wangdue, Sarpang, Samtse, Phuentsholing in Chukha, and Punakha, which have been declared as red zones, will not report as per the notification.

The notification also stated that students studying in primary schools and LSS will report on March 1.

According to an official from Wangdue dzongkhag, they have not received a way forward for the primary and lower secondary schools. “Since students in green zones would also have to travel from red zones, school re-opening hasn’t been decided.”

The official said that some schools have been turned into quarantine facilities and some into holding places. “If we have a clear directive, then we will have to stop using the places.”

The official also said that the dzongkhag plans to quarantine students who will have to sit for board exams in schools functioning in containment mode.

Class X and XII students in Samtengang Central School and Phobjikha Central School reported to the schools prior to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

In Sarpang, a standard operating procedure (SOP) has been developed and finalised for schools to function in containment mode.

According to Dzongdag Lobzang Dorji, the focus is on Classes X and XII and their board exams as of now. “We have not decided anything for students of other classes.”

Sarpang dzongkhag has a few schools with boarding facilities whose students also reported to the school prior to the lockdown.

In Samtse, the dzongkhag administration is waiting for final approval to relocate students of Gomtu Higher Secondary School to Dorokha LSS and Samtse Higher Secondary School to the Samtse College of Education. Neither school has boarding facilities and both are in red zones.

According to an official, the students are currently taking online classes from home.

Another five schools with Classes X and XII are functioning in containment mode in the dzongkhag.

For primary schools and LSS in Phuentsholing, a way forward has yet to be determined. In Punakha, primary and lower secondary schools in green zones will open as per the scheduled time.

Meanwhile, Kuensel learned that test papers for Classes X and XII have reached the respective dzongkhags.