Satyabrata Sahu, secretary for school and mass education, said the government has made various provisions to carry out teaching and learning processes for students during the pandemic. But he agreed that they couldn’t reach every student at the school through online classes.
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“There is a problem reaching students through online classes due to the problem of mobile connectivity. With this problem in mind, the state government has made the decision to reopen schools for students in certain classes, ”Sahu said. He said they can reach 40 percent of students through online classes. The remaining 60 percent of students were unable to access classes online due to mobile network problems, he added.
Sahu said the online classes will continue as before. “It is not mandatory for students to attend school. It all depends on the decision of the district collector to reopen the schools in their district. Schools will open at 10am and close at 1.30pm. The academic year will begin in July 2021 and end in April 2022 ”, he added.
More than 10 lakh of Class X and Class XII students in Odisha prepare for different entrance exams nationwide like JEE / NEET / CLAT and for their annual board exams. After school closed, these students have missed about 150 days of regular school. “They have to understand the concept of linking their courses before taking the exams. In view of this, we made the decision to reopen the schools, ”Sahu said.
This order will apply to all public and private schools. The school and the mass education department will issue a standard operating procedure (SOP) for schools in order to conduct classes following all Covid-19 guidelines. All teachers will be vaccinated against Covid-19 as a priority. All district education officials are required to keep school facilities clean and follow Covid-19 guidelines, including the use of thermal scanning, face masks, and hand sanitizers in schools. The schools, which are conducting Class X board exams, will open after the exam is over, department sources said.
If schools are closed due to Covid restriction or any other reason in the future, the department has decided to conduct a continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) by the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) for Class IX students and Class X for the first time. . Students and their parents should take this process seriously, as these tests will help the board to publish student results.
The department has planned to conduct four formative assessments and two summative assessments. These exams will be taken by the classroom teacher or teachers of the subject before the second week of September, the first of November, the second of January and the second of March. Detailed guidelines on this comprehensive assessment will be issued soon, official sources said.
The Odisha High School Teachers Association (OSSTA) has welcomed the government’s decision to open schools in the state. “Schools can follow Covid guidelines and run classes without problems. We also welcome the government’s decision to initiate CCE by the BSE. It will help the board publish student results if Covid does not allow exams later. We demanded this system before, ”said Prakash Chandra Mohanty, OSSTA secretary general.
Rakesh Palai, a class X student from Ganjam district, said he was unable to attend many classes online due to the lack of a smartphone. “After the opening of the school, I will clarify my doubts on different topics. I welcome this decision, ”he added.