After the State government informed that the schools will be partially opened for students of classes 9 to 12 to consult with their teachers, without holding regular classes, school authorities in the State said they welcomed the decision.
Father R M Majaw Principal, St. Paul Higher Secondary School Secretary and Education Commission of the Archdiocese Shillong said that the educational institutions should be ready for reopening of classes.
“Schools in the rural areas won’t be able to hold online classes because of internet connectivity,” Father Majaw said.
He also said that for students staying in the city internet connectivity for them is not a problem but students in the rural areas are finding it hard as internet connectivity is absent besides difficulty in accessing mobile phone since their parents cannot afford it.
Meanwhile, in line with the guidelines for partial reopening of schools, Step By Step School, Shillong is also preparing for the same.
Speaking to Highland Post, Step By Step School principal, Andromeda Myrthong said, “We will keep all the classrooms ready by first carrying out proper sanitisation of all the rooms of the school, seating arrangements, etc. We will observe how this goes and then only we can say we are ready.”
“Government has to monitor all the schools that they follow all the protocols strictly for the safety of all,” she stated.
“We will be following all the protocols and I think there is a lot of planning that is required and we are on our way to see how all this goes,” she said adding that the school will also consider all the opinion of the parents in this matter.
Myrthong said before the government’s notification, the school has been conducting the online classes and calling two-three students at a time and consulting them and also conducting the tests, giving them notes, etc.
“We have completed about 60-70 per cent of the syllabus online but it’s nothing like the one-to-one interaction at the classroom,” she said.
Stating that a teacher is like parents to a student in the classroom that helps a child mold and bring about the overall development and it’s not only about the teaching, Myrthong said, “We are giving the students assignments and test with a time frame and we are fully relying on the parents to monitor their children during the test and the moment they completed their test within the time they submit their work to the subject teachers online and teachers also correct them online and also give them the report card online. ”
Informing that some parents have not been able to pay the school fees in this pandemic but the school is allowing them to pay the fees at their own convenience, Myrthong said, “All these years Step By Step School has also been providing free education to some of the under privilege students whose parents cannot pay the fees. We don’t tell about this to anyone but what the school did was help these children with free education.”
She however said that those parents who think that they should not pay the school fees in this pandemic should also consider and think about the staff of the school whose livelihoods depend on it.