Manipur mulls reopening of educational institutions

Stakeholders of education in Manipur on Tuesday deliberated on the modalities of reopening of educational institutions like admission of students, condensing curriculum/syllabi, assessment and examinations and shortage of teachers and infrastructure among others in a ‘Joint Consultative Meeting on Education’ held in Imphal.

As COVID-19 crisis persists and has become ‘a new normal’, Manipur has started looking out for ways to reopen educational institutions so that the normal academic atmosphere and teaching-learning process in schools and colleges may be resumed at the earliest.

All educational institutions in Manipur have been closed since the second week of March and more than 100 of them are being utilised as quarantine centres.

Stakeholders of education in the state on Tuesday deliberated on the modalities of reopening of educational institutions like admission of students, condensing curriculum/syllabi, assessment and examinations and shortage of teachers and infrastructure among others in the ‘Joint Consultative Meeting on Education’ held at City Convention Centre in Imphal.

Transportation of students; however, was left out for deliberation during the meeting, jointly organised by the department of education (Schools) and higher and technical education.

During the first session of the meeting which was on reopening of the educational institutions and conditionality, many broached for sanitising and disinfecting the institutes before resuming classes. Strict monitoring to prevent spread of COVID-19 was also called for.

Considering the suggestions and comments, moderator of the session, Professor MC Arun suggested resuming limited educational activities from July 10 after taking about one week for preparation.

While the psychiatrist Dr RK Lenin suggested reopening of institutions at the earliest, Education Minister Th Radheshyam mooted for introducing shift wise education now that the government has to arrange for the incoming students as well.

When queried about the probable timeline for reopening the educational institutions, he said that they might be open by the time there are no more new returnees coming into the state and there are no positive cases.

The minister expressed confidence that the joint meeting will be fruitful and instrumental in framing SOPs or policy for reopening of the educational institutes.

Tuesday’s joint consultative meeting also agreed on condensing the curriculum/ syllabi for the academic year 2020-21 and also considered extending working days if the need arises.

In this regard, education (S) director, Th Kirankumar informed that two curriculum formats for classes 1-9, one for 60 days and another for 90 days, have been framed under the guidance of SCERT. “The curriculum for class 10-12 is yet to be framed as exams like NEET are to be taken into consideration,” he added.

According to him, altogether 328 educational institutes were notified as institutions that can be used as quarantine centres. Of the total, 267 schools have been utilised and presently 103 schools are being utilised as quarantine centres.

While the joint consultative meeting has not announced its recommendations or resolutions, officials of the education department have informed that the resolutions will be announced within the next two-three days.

First Published:July 1, 2020, 11:11 a.m.