Bhubaneswar, June 11. The Odisha government has cancelled undergraduate and postgrad final semester examinations of all study programmes except medicine, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic spike countrywide. However pending theory and practical examinations of medical courses will be conducted according to schedule, said a government spokesperson.
Addressing the media, the spokesperson said this decision was taken at a video-conference meeting presided over by the state’s higher education minister A.K. Sahoo and attended by vice chancellors, principals of autonomous colleges and senior education ministry officials. Universities and autonomous colleges will follow the evaluation methodology recommended by UGC for semester and final examinations whose results will be published by end-August, he added.
“If students are unhappy with their assessment marks, they can apply for re-examination in November, the results of which will be published in December,” he said.
Kashmir radio classes initiative
Bhaderwah, June 13. With the majority population unable to access high speed Internet services and smartphones, a Kashmir education department’s initiative to start ‘radio classes’ from June 1 has enabled over 25,000 class IXXII government school students in Doda district to complete their syllabus after the Covid-19 pandemic forced mass closure of education institutions countrywide. The local station of All India Radio — AIR Bhaderwah — airs 90 minutes of education content daily.
“When the district authorities started online classes for 63,406 students from March 27, data collected by the education department showed that only 37,837 of them had access to Internet and smartphones,” says Anis Ahmed, nodal officer, Doda district radio classes.
To reach the remainder 25,569 students, the majority in BPL (below poverty line) households in remote hilly regions, the Delhi-based Prasar Bharti has provided a time slot on AIR-Bhaderwah for radio classes.
Tripura teachers recruitment drive
Agartala, June 9. The Tripura government is set to recruit 297 school teachers and 40 assistant professors for induction into government degree colleges, according to the state’s education minister Ratan Lal Nath. Additionally, 175 graduate and 65 postgraduate teachers will be deployed by the education ministry. “We are in the process of recruiting teachers for elementary, high and higher secondary schools. The Tripura Board of Secondary Education has requested the Teachers Recruitment Board to hire these teachers after thorough review,” said the minister.
West Bengal government largesse
Kolkata, June 11. The West Bengal government has announced state provision of masks, soap and food items under the mid-day meal scheme, to public schools.
The state’s education minister Partha Chatterjee says these items will be handed over to guardians of students as schools are under closure. Free-ofcharge textbooks, exercise books and pencils will also be provided to students in the Amphan-affected areas of the state, the minister added.
Rajasthan smart classrooms initiative
Jaipur, June 18. Smart classrooms will be set up in 100 government schools across Rajasthan at an estimated cost of Rs.2 crore, said the state’s education minister Govind Singh Dotasara. The government has signed an MoU with the Power Grid Corporation of India and Educational Consultants India Ltd to facilitate the smart classrooms initiative.
E-content for classes I – XII will be made available and four teachers in every school will be provided specialised smart classrooms training. Moreover, government schools in remote areas will be given priority for installing smart classrooms.
Goa confusing logic
Panaji, June 27. Days after Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant made a statement that online classes are “not compulsory”, teachers of government higher secondary schools statewide complain that students are opting out of virtual classrooms. In early June, the chief minister remarked that online classes were not compulsory as many students don’t have access to Internet connectivity and digital devices.
This and other off the-cuff remarks of state government ministers have confused teacher and parent communities. “Initially, the chief minister had said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there would be a delay in reopening schools. Accordingly, teachers were trained by the department of education for online classes,” said Anant Pissurlekar, president of the Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association of Goa (HISTAG).
“If these online classes are not beneficial, then why did they ask us to conduct them in the first place?” he asks.
Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs