With the corona-virus confirmed in the country, schools and institutes have been closed for two weeks in Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Phuntsholing.
Education minister Jai Bir Rai said that although the department of school and education is already working on the plans, currently the ministry of education have not come up with measures to make up for the loss of classes.
“The ministry is trying to cope with the situation right now with the help of volunteer teachers instead of remaining idle during the two weeks shutdown,” Lyonpo added. Further, the ministry is also looking into the idea of covering the lost classes during this summer break.
A teacher from Dawakha Lower Secondary School from Paro, Karma Nidup said that completing the syllabus has now become a major concern among the teachers in the school. “Despite the distraction created by the COVID-19, we are determined to complete the syllabus by taking extra classes to meet the deadline.”
He also said that the co-curricular activities will be canceled to cover the academic session as it is considered more of a priority. “We will take extra hours of classes after school hours to teach the students.”
Further, he said that the scheduled syllabus plan for the year is hampered but the teachers will try to find the best solutions to the problem. “Online teaching is the best method for students at a time like this but our students are from the villages and it is not possible for the students to learn online,” he added.
A teacher from Punakha, Prakash Sanyasi said that teachers have assigned students via an online interaction and students are also made to solve the past papers along with some home-works.” The school will take remedial classes once the school reopens and the syllabus will be covered by taking classes during the weekends and sometimes by taking an extra hour of classes when school gets over.”
A teacher from Phuentsholing said the suspension of school was sudden news and currently, the school has prepared a contingency plan on COVID-19 and they are planning to complete the syllabus on time. The schools which are shutdown will complete the syllabus with extra classes and teaching during the summer break.
A concerned parent Yonten said, “Being a parent I am sure online study will help only the students in the town areas where there is proper guidance from their parents but for the students at the village, it will be inconvenient.”
A group of 2,600 volunteer teachers came up with Teachers of Bhutan Volunteers (VToB) who proposed the offer, “Let’s Teach Through BBS” project which was inspired by His Majesty’s vision of Digital Bhutan. “The proposal is almost approved and we are still working on it,” said the founder of VToB Sonam Norbu from Lobesa Lower Secondary School, Punakha.
He also said that the proposed plan involves teaching through YouTube, Google classrooms, BBS and other social media.
Sonam Tashi from Thimphu