The Tripura government is contemplating the introduction of neighbourhood classes, where one teacher would teach a maximum of five students in their vicinity by maintaining social distancing, till schools resume after the end of lockdown. The move is expected to intensify classes apart from online and television channel-aided classes during lockdown, Tripura education minister Ratan Lal Nath said.
Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat, Nath informed that during a video conference with Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Tuesday along with education ministers from other states, he stated that Tripura is ready to resume classes anytime the Ministry instructs.
“We don’t know when classes will resume but we are ready to resume anytime. We are contemplating to start neighbourhood classes with one teacher to five student ratio and by maintaining social distancing in such classes. We are appealing to teachers to join in this initiative and they have given a positive response so far,” Nath stated.
Tripura has approximately 29,000 students enrolled in government and semi-government schools across districts. According to Nath, they are in the process of assessing how many teachers would be needed for the job. Among other states, Assam is thinking along similar lines, he said.
Meanwhile, the state education department is already broadcasting pre-recorded classroom videos for 13 hours in 13 television channels of the state, with an hour of dedicated broadcast. The government has also applied to the Prasar Bharati director for two-hour slots daily for broadcasting similar programmes, while these classes are regularly uploaded on the Siksha Bandhu YouTube account.
Meanwhile, all schools examinations are over for classes 3-8 and class 9, 11. Evaluation of the papers has been completed and 80 percent work of updating grades online is 80 percent done. Assessment of Madhyamik and Higher secondary examinations is in progress, maintaining social distancing.
On a different note, the state government has sought Rs 13 crore additional funds from MHRD under the mid-day meal scheme since the addition of two eggs per child in the diet. The government has also proposed to release Rs 36 crore pending funds allotted to Tripura under Samagra Sikha Abhiyan in previous years and Rs 9.89 crores under the scheme to Provide Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM) in order to smoothen school activities after resumption of classwork.
Nath also informed that his government is coordinating with different state governments to allow everyone from Tripura, including students stranded there, to return home, if they are keen to do so. The government, however, would only facilitate the transit and not help with logistics.
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