Because of the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in the eastern dzongkhags, schools in Mongar this year have put a halt on other programs and co-curricular activities with focus solely being on academic sessions.
The Principal of Mongar Higher Secondary School (MHSS), Kuenga Rinchen said that other than academic classes, no other programs are conducted in the school.
“The importance is given to academic learning and we have been following contact teaching,” he said, adding that students are free from school programs.
The principal said during this Covid-19 situation, studies are being focused more than other co-curricular activities as gatherings are discouraged in the school campus.
“All the activities happen within the four walls of the classroom,” he said.
The Officiating Principal of Mongar Middle Secondary School, Lotay Gyeltshen said the school is not able to implement co-curricular activities like games and sport, cultural competitions, and other activities currently.
He held that normally the school conducts campaigns, national programs, and other international programs and all those activities are included in the school plan, but all the programs are on a halt due to the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The officiating principal said that in every classroom they have to use 21st-century pedagogy- a new teaching strategy where students have to form a group and carry out their activities. “But due to the protocols of social distancing in the classroom, we are not able to conduct the activity properly,” he added.
The school’s sports instructor, Phurpa Yeshi said the school is not able to continue with games with the orders to halt games and sport for the time being.
He said he has not been able to provide grass root coaching to students on diverse sports. “Our main responsibility is to provide games and coaching on sports every day after school. But now we cannot do anything.”
“The only option is Health and Physical Education class as I cannot conduct other programs,” he added.
He suggests that it will be better if they can continue with games and sports within the institute as he held that even without gatherings if one of the members of the school contacts the virus, others will also definitely develop the virus.
“Although as sports instructors, we have to report to the school as other teachers, our task takes place only before and after the school and our working hours are not included and that is the biggest issue. We have not been able to accomplish our 15-hour working time after the Covid-19,” Phurpa Yeshi said.
Similarly, the sports instructor of the Drametse Central School said students are not able to participate in normal tournaments like before.
“We are not able to conduct cluster level tournaments and additionally, dzongkhag, regional and national level sports meets are difficult to conduct,” he said.
A counselor of the MSS said they have not been able to conduct the parenting program in the school, which is called School Based In-service Parenting Education and Awareness (SPEA), as scheduled.
“The Peer Helpers Program which runs for a year had to be put on a halt. However, I am planning to conduct the SPEA virtually with the help of the school administration during the second term of the academic session,” she said.
Tenzin Lhamo from Mongar