The Meghalaya government on Wednesday said there will be teacher-student counselling of upper primary schools from October 15, even as decision to resume regular class activities will be taken after consultation with all stakeholders.
“We have decided to allow reopening of upper primary schools for teacher-student counselling from October 15, as was done in the case of secondary and higher secondary schools,” Education Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui told reporters after a review meeting.
Meghalaya has a total of 2,31,668 students studying in classes VI to VIII in the different schools that are central, state, government aided and private run institutions.
“Students of classes VI, VII, VIII can visit the respective schools based on the consent of their parents. Since we have truncated the syllabus and have published the academic calendar, this will help students get more clarity on the topics they need to study,” he said.
Reiterating that regular classes for schools and other educational institutions will continue to remain closed until further orders, the Education minister, however, said the government has decided to take feedback from all stakeholders before taking a final call for resuming normal class activities.
He informed that the education department on Tuesday sent a letter to the Director of School Education asking him to submit the feedback by October 13.
Subsequently, the Director had directed all District School Education Officers (DSEOs) and Sub Divisional School Education Officers (SDSEOs) to seek feedback from the school management committees (SMCs), teachers and parents on whether schools can be reopened resuming normal classes (in view of the prevailing situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic).
According to the minister, there are around 15,000 schools in the state and it would be difficult for the state government to have consultation with all the stakeholders.
“We have directed that all the feedback need to reach the directorate by October 13-14 after which the government may finalise its decision on the matter on October 15 or 16,” Rymbui said.
Asked, the minister said as 90 per cent of the COVID-19 cases are in Shillong and that most of the villages in rural areas are not affected by the pandemic, the village COVID management committees, teachers and parents will help the government to decide what is best for the students.
“We need to involve the village COVID management committees in the process as in case any infected case is reported (God forbid), it will be aware to inform and decide which school needs to be closed,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister informed that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the government on September 17 and October 1 respectively, will remain unchanged.