Tshering Namgyal  | Mongar

Boots deep into slushy mud and fighting off leeches, teachers of Thimyul Lower Secondary School in Gangzur, Lhuentse walk the long and treacherous paths to reach Self-Instructional Materials (SIM) to the students.

Of the 206 students of the school who are now learning from home, 98 do not have access to BBS and smartphones.

Seventeen teachers have been visiting homes, distributing the SIMs, to help with ideas to carry out necessary activities along with parents, and to ensure that tasks are completed.

Most of the students walk for more than an hour to schools and back. 

The school’s principal, Rinchen Wangdi, said the farthest places are Semchibi and Amtse, more than one and a half hour’s journey from the schools.  Teachers go to the villages on rotational basis, following the list of the students.

Thimyul school distributed the first volume of SIM on April 29 and 30 and recently the fourth volume.

The schools in the country have been closed down since March 18 due to Covid-19.

Lhuentse’s Dy. chief district education officer, Ugyen Dorji, said out of the 3,600 students in 16 schools and two ECRs spread across the country, 809 had received four volumes of SIM so far.

He said that teachers formed groups and distributed SIMs.

Ugyen Dorji added that since July 1, teachers had been planning lessons and going door-to-door to teach the students.

Education officials said most students preferred SIM to BBS lessons because of the convenience.