No immediate possibility of opening schools in Odisha, says minister

On a day Odisha posted a record high of 2,496 fresh Covid cases, Odisha government said it has no immediate plans for reopening of schools in the state considering the surge in Covid-19 positive cases.

Unfurling the national tricolour in the Jajpur district on Saturday, school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said that reopening of schools from September does not look possible in Odisha.

“Going by the rising number of Covid-19 cases in August in Odisha, it cannot be said with certainty that the situation will be normal in September. Keeping this in mind, the state government will soon launch a new scheme ‘Siksha Sampark Yojana’ to provide e-education to about 60 lakh children,” said Dash.

Early this month, the Assam government had invited suggestions from residents on a possible reopening date for schools.

Dash said about 22 lakh children in the state are now availing e-education, while the remaining 38 lakh students are deprived of the facility due to lack of mobile network in their area. So teachers will visit these areas and teach the children at their home.

Dash said that since three months of the new academic session have already passed, steps are being taken to reduce the school syllabi accordingly. The revised syllabi will be finalized next week.

Secretary of All Odisha Secondary School Teachers Association, Prakash Mohanty, says the government has no clear plan on how to teach children in secondary classes.

“The education of students of Class 8, 9 and 10 after summer vacation has been hampered. While online classes have not helped much, there is no clarity on how teachers would reach out to the children,” said Mohanty.

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