School days, teaching hours likely to be cut short; exam patterns to be changed
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of working days in schools will be cut short from 220 days to 100 days. The central government is planning to amend the rule that 1,320 working hours should be spent for teaching in schools every academic year.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development will implement a new rule that the academic hours should be divided into 600 hours at school and 600 hours at home. They also have plans to reduce the length of each period from 45 minutes to 30 minutes.
Another recommendation under consideration is providing expert counselling for children for 120 hours or 20 days a year at households or schools. This is expected to be useful for maintaining their mental health. The HRD ministry will issue the guidelines regarding school reopening soon.
As per reports, implementation of the shift system is under consideration so that the number of students can be reduced. There should only be a maximum 15-20 students in a class. If there are more students in a class, they should be divided into two batches. Each batch should have classes on alternate days. Odd-even system can be tried for conducting the classes.
The students should be seated following social distancing rules. Two students should sit at a distance of six feet. Only two children should sit on a bench for three. Over 30-50 percent of students should not be present at the school at a time, it is recommended in the report submitted by the NCERT.
The NCERT had directed that classes for only the students of standards 8-12 should be started in the initial phase. However, these suggestions are likely to be changed, the officials at the HRD ministry told Mathrubhumi News. Though classes will be started for only students of higher classes in the first phase, other classes also will start gradually.
As per the recommendations, students of standards 1-5 will have classes only twice a week. The students of standards 6-8 will have classes for upto 2-4 days a week and students in standards 9-12 should attend class for 4-5 days a week.
The conduct of examinations will also be revised totally. The government is planning to conduct exams without creating pressure on the children.
Importance to children of migrant labourers
The central government will request all states to provide education to the children of migrant labourers. When they return to their places, their children should be given admission in the nearest schools. The transfer certificate should not be made mandatory for admission.
The states will be requested to give admission on the basis of identity cards. The central government urged that the schools should consider the students who have no online facilities while 50 percent of the academic activities are conducted through online methods.