Schools continue to remain closed in Dimapur

Staff Reporters/Correspondent DIMAPUR/Kohima, SEP 21 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/21/2020 12:53:53 PM IST

Even as the government allowed partial reopening of schools for students of Classes 9-12 on a “voluntary basis” from September 21, 2020 as part of Unlock 4, schools in Dimapur, however remained closed on Monday.

Schools across the country have been closed since March due to COVID-19 pandemic. Classes are conducted online and links to online study material are sent via WhatsApp, emails and SMS.

District Education Officer (DEO) Dimapur, R Amongla Jamir, told Nagaland Post that reopening of schools was not compulsory and those willing to open have to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or precautionary measures. She said that schools and colleges deciding to partially reopen should take the consent from the parents/guardian and allow students to attend their classes accordingly. DEO said in Dimapur there were 291 government schools, 223 private schools, three central schools and one tribal welfare schools enrolled as per UDISE+ (data as on September 30, 2019) imparting education to a total of 153862 students.

She pointed out that government schools within Dimapur have been conducting month-wise activities in commemoration of 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi for the period from July to October under various themes.

Meanwhile, Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU), president Sedevilie Angami, told Nagaland Post over phone that as long as institutions follow SOPs and precautionary measures laid down by the central and state government, the union was not opposed to partial reopening of schools and colleges.

DNSU president pointed out that partial reopening of schools and colleges was needed as most businesses and stores have already been opened. He, however, asserted that schools and colleges willing to partially reopen needed to strictly follow guidelines laid out by the government. 

He said students cannot only rely on online classes as both students and teachers faced inconveniences due to poor internet connectivity. 

DNSU vice president, Sentimeren Pongen, said that school authorities should take consent from parents before partial reopening of school for guidance and counselling.  As per the SOP, students would not be compelled to visit their school or college mandatorily by the authorities, but only voluntarily. A parent said she would not send her children to school even if the central or state government decided to re-open schools. A similar view was expressed by a student who said government should not be in a hurry to open schools and colleges as it would pose risk on the students. 

Govt undecided: Meanwhile minister of H& Tech education Temjen Iman Along said the state government has not yet decided on partial reopening of colleges. Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference, Along informed that four colleges were still used as quarantine centres. He said that due to the surge of COVID-19 cases it was difficult to make decisions and risk the lives of the students. 

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