Mixed reaction to Odisha govt’s decision on primary schools

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government’s decision to resume physical classes for Class I to Class V from January 3, 2022 has evoked mixed reaction. While some educationists and parents criticized the government’s move, some others hailed the decision.

Those, who oppose the primary school reopening decision, said there is no need to be in hurry to resume physical classes for Class I to V at a time when Omicron cases are being reported. If anything wrong happens after primary school reopening, it would be difficult to control the situation.

RN Panda, an educationist said first of all the State government should ensure items which are required for control of the pandemic such as sanitisers and face masks should be made available to the schools. Apart from this, teachers must be made aware about the Covid.

Mother of a primary school going student said the government could have waited for few more days. As students of Class I-V are small kids, they won’t care about Covid protocols.

Echoing similar view, another parent said keeping in view the present situation, we are not ready to send our wards to schools.

Begging to differ, Amiya Mohanty, another educationist said the government’s decision is a welcome move as online classes were only available to handful of students only.

Through resumption of physical classes education could be provided to all students. Also, students from remote areas will be able to study, Mohanty added.

He continued Unicef and the country’s Parliamentary Standing Committee have already suggested to start physical classes of school students.

School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said, “With the instruction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, we are going to resume classroom teaching for students of Class I to V in about 27,000 schools from January 3, while in the other schools it will start from January 10.”

The first summative assessment of Class X students would continue till January 9. So, schools having classes for I to X will resume physical teaching for the primary class students from January 10, Dash added.

Considering the eagerness among the students to attend classes in their schools, the government has taken this decision, he said.

The Minister further said the standard operating procedure being followed for conducting classroom teaching for other classes will be applicable for these students as well.

While online classes will continue, students can attend offline classes in consultation with their parents/ guardians. This apart, cooked mid-day meal will not be served to the students. Instead, dry ration will be provided to them as was provided earlier.

It is worth to be mentioned that physical classes for Class VI to XII have already resumed in the State.

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