Online classes to begin in Goa, but won’t be compulsory, says CM Pramod Sawant
The Goa government has postponed until after July 15 a decision on reopening of schools in the state and will instead encourage teachers to hold classes online for students in order to keep them engaged, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced.
Sawant, who insisted that the online classes were not compulsory and that the syllabus would be mandatorily covered in face to face classes as well, said that the government would later decide on curtailing holidays to ensure that the syllabus can be completed once schools reopen.
The state has trained around 11,000 school teachers in giving classes online, which they are now expected to use in the coming weeks as they await the reopening of schools.
“We don’t have 100% connectivity and not all parents and children have smartphones. So we have said it is not compulsory for online education. No student will miss out because he doesn’t have connectivity or a smartphone and parents should not deliberately go out to buy smartphones,” Sawant said.
But he said that the online classes would commence so that teachers can “try to keep students engaged.”
At a meeting of officials from the education department, the chief minister who is also the education minister and representatives of the headmasters association which was held on Monday, the Goa government has also decided to make it mandatory for teachers to attend school since all other government servants have begun attending office.
“Teachers will have to compulsorily attend school. If government servants are attending office, then why not teachers?” Sawant said.
The Goa government has also decided to automatically promote all students from classes IX and XI who were initially scheduled to answer supplementary examinations if they needed to be promoted to the next class.
The Central government too has not taken a decision to allow the reopening of schools across the country as cases mount. Guidelines issued under Unlock 1.0 have made it clear that the reopening of schools isn’t an allowed activity.