Teachers worried over completing syllabus this year

Schools will reopen for this academic year on April 4-18

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools generally open in February, but Covid-19 has had an influence on education and schools, as well as many other aspects of life.

With the Ministry of Education (MoE) announcing that schools will reopen for this academic year only on April 18, many students and teachers believe that completing the syllabus on time will be challenging for them.

Meanwhile, the scheduled reopening of schools was disrupted this year when a lockdown was imposed in the country at the beginning of this year. The restrictions which were continued in February then continued in March.

One of the school teachers said that they have already lost roughly three months due to the lockdown and restrictions, and that it would be difficult for a majority of the teachers to complete the syllabus on time this year.

“With the summer vacation and Saturdays off, we will only have about six months to finish the syllabus, which would normally take nine months,” the teacher said.

“While it was the pandemic that delayed the exams in the last two years, this year the lack of working hours to complete the syllabus is expected to delay the exams,” he added.

Meanwhile, the lockdown and the delay in reopening schools would reportedly result in a loss of almost 60 working days.

“Even if we speed up and finish the syllabus, the students will struggle to cope because the learning curve has been impacted by the lockdown,” another teacher remarked.

He added that most schools will be required to hold trial examinations for Class X and XII in order to prepare for the board exams, which is normally held in October, which further increases the stress of having less time in hand to prepare.

The Director General (DG) of the Department of School Education, Karma Gaylay, told Business Bhutan that meetings and discussions are taking place to address the problem.

“The ministry will devise a strategy that will be expected to address the problem,” he said.

While many have heard that the thinning of curriculum or syllabus for 2022 would be adopted, some say that the ministry should do away with the summer vacation for this year and make students attend school on Saturdays in order to maintain a smooth flow of continuous face to face learning.

The DG said, “While all of these ideas are being examined during the meetings and discussions, nothing is finalized as of now.”

He said that everything will be meticulously arranged once the school resumes, adding that the ministry is also planning on reducing the school syllabus as well as revise the hours of instruction for the current session to make up for the loss caused by the lockdown.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu