Schools in the state have begun reopening today after only a short winter vacation as they rush to complete this year’s syllabus, which was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to Highland Post, Principal of Step By Step School, Andromeda Myrthong, said that classes began today for Class 10 students, with those for Class 9 to be decided on in the days to come. Attendance was at around 80 per cent, she informed, adding that classes began at 10 am and concluded by noon.
Myrthong said since her school has fewer students, with 18 in Class 10 and 31 in Class 9, it is easier for the school to maintain Covid protocols, such as social distancing and wearing masks.
“We divide the students and conduct the classes in two classrooms to strictly follow social distancing and we are quite ahead since we also had online classes since the end of March followed by consultation, etc and we have already completed about 90 per cent of the syllabus,” she said with a hope that everything goes well.
Babu Kular Khongjirem, a senior teacher at the KJP Girls Higher Secondary School, Shillong said that attendance today was 85 per cent in Class 9 and 10, while about 70 per cent turned up for Class 11 and 12, though there were very few in the lower grades. He said that his school has completed slightly less than two-thirds of the syllabus.
Meanwhile, it was a different scenario at St Gabriel Higher Secondary School, which reopened today for Class 4 to 12 students.
“We have reopened our school because we have to complete the courses that our students have missed since the lockdown because we never had the privilege of conducting the online or offline classes,” Sister Modesta said.
“We feel bad for the students and the teachers who have to cut short their winter vacation and continue class in this cold but we have to because we have to complete the courses, especially for the Class 10 and 12,” said Fr Sabastian K Mawphlang of St Peter’s Secondary School in Laitlyngkot.
The Education Department had, on December 16, issued a notification that schools would close from December 21 and reopen from January 11, with classes to continue up to March 10. Final examinations and or assessments will be from March 11-20. There will then be a short break before the new term begins on April 1.
The notification said that Classes 9-12 will be fully reopened in both urban and rural areas for completion of the courses and the preparation of the board exams. Classes 6-8 will be completely opened in rural areas while in urban/semi-urban towns of Shillong, Nongpoh, Khanapara, Jowai, Byrnihat, Tura, and Jorabat will be open partly. Partial opening only requires meetings, application of assignments, and talks with teachers/counselors at school premises.
Classes 1-5 will be partly open in rural areas and remain closed in urban/semi-urban towns.