The Education Department has issued new guidelines for functioning of all government schools in the State including schedule for academic session, syllabus, timings, vacations etc for this year.
In a notification issued today, Commissioner and Secretary (Education) Pravin Bakshi said that in order to ensure smooth conduct of the Academic Session 2024 in all the schools of Meghalaya, all schools should follow the set school calendar and the instructions mentioned in the notification.
“Any violation would result in actions to be taken against the concerned institution as per the act and rules thereof,” he said.
According to the notification, the start date of the academic session for this year is February 15. The half yearly examination and final examination will be decided by the respective schools.
The end date for Pre-Primary academic session is November 29 while the end date for Classes I to XII is December 20. The winter vacations will be from December 21, 2024 to February 9, 2025.
The notification also mentioned that the minimum working days or instructional hours will be as per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
For Class 1 to Class 5, the minimum working days will be 200 days, for Class 6 to Class 8, the minimum working days will be 220 days. The instructional hours for Class 1 to Class 5 will be 800 hours while the instructional hours for Class 6 to Class 8 will be 1,000 hours.
Apart from the winter vacation as mentioned in the notification, only the holidays as notified by the State government on November 8, 2023 are to be observed.
“No other days shall be declared as school holidays by the school authorities without the approval of the government,” the notification said.
It also said that all schools have to adhere to school timings and plan it in such a way that sufficient instructional hours are there to comply with the provisions of the RTE Act.
For government lower primary schools, the school timing is 9 am to 1 pm (four hours). For government upper primary schools, the timing is 9 am to 2 pm (five hours). For government secondary schools, the timing is 9 am to 3 pm (six hours) and for government higher secondary schools, the timing is 9 am to 4 pm (seven hours).
The notification also said that “all other schools are also advised to schedule in a similar way”.
Schools located in Shillong and Tura which have been advised by their respective district administration on staggered timings, have to intimate the same to the Director of School Education and Literacy.
“All schools shall also have an assembly session at the beginning of the school day which should be entirely conducted by the students which will give them an opportunity to improve their communication skills. Current affairs, value education, motivational examples etc can be the topics of discussion,” the notification said.
It also said that 100 per cent syllabus should be followed as applicable for all levels and all necessary planning should be made to ensure completion of the syllabus in time.
“Teachers should prepare their lesson plans accordingly. Schools should also ensure that apart from academic classes, timings are also fixed for sports and library periods,” it added.
The notification also said that every school should observe 10 bagless days throughout the academic session for Class 6 to Class 12 on which the students will come to school without their bags and shall be engaged in co-curricular activities. The dates on which the school desires to observe these days will be decided by respective schools.
The notification also said that schools should take steps to ensure that they gradually move towards formative assessments as suggested by National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
“In order to ensure this, the schools may plan to have assessments or unit tests from time to time. It is suggested that monthly or quarterly assessments should be adopted,” it said.
Further, the notification said that as laid down in Section 24(e) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, all schools should hold regular meetings with parents and guardians and apprise them about the regularity in attendance, ability to learn, progress made in learning and any other relevant information about the child.
“It is suggested that these meetings be held at least once a year and the same can be organised on the result day of the school,” it said.