Porvorim MLA Rohan Khuaunte has urged the Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant to revoke the circular asking the school team to attend offices which were violating the MHA and MHRD guidelines.
“This is to bring to your urgent attention that the Directorate of Education vide its circular dated 23/06/2020 has issued directions to the teaching and non-teaching staff of all schools in the State to resume work from 24 June 2020 which blatantly contravenes the MHA Guidelines, MHRD Directives and the Central Guidelines on education,” Khaunte said in a letter to Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant.
He said that the circular intending to collect a colossal number of people within one premise entirely defeats the purpose of social distancing and puts the life of the entire teaching fraternity at risk.
“In addition, the situation would require teachers to use public transport to commute to school which adds to the possibility of spread of this deadly virus. We cannot ignore the fact that a decent number of these teachers suffer from co-morbid conditions which make them more vulnerable to being infected or being a carrier of the virus. This in turn could affect the families of the teachers with no-accountability,” he said.
Furthermore, he added, due to the unavailability or limited access of internet in schools especially in the remote areas, major portion of time is lost and purpose of the Circular is defeated in entirety.
“The entire intent behind the MHA Guidelines, MHRD Directives and the Central Guidelines on education was to ensure the safety of educational fraternity without compromising the education of students. In view of the ongoing pandemic, regular schooling will not be an option for the foreseeable future and therefore we need focus on e-schooling or Online schooling,” the former minister for IT said.
However, he continued, the Education Department needs to study the situation and assess the requirements of the educational fraternity before rolling out SOPs on education that would include students and teachers from every section of the society.
“In certain unprivileged parts of the State, we need to focus on basic provisions, such as accessibility to internet services, interrupted power supply, network issues, bandwidth, providing laptop and computers etc. Once we achieve this primary target of putting the infrastructure together, can we think about the implementation of the online education system,” he added.
He further said that he has been constantly expressing inclination towards online schooling much before the outbreak of this pandemic.
However, he said, it is unfortunate that a 15 year old student from Pomburpa, Aldona Constituency had to lose his life in an attempt to wake the Government on the need for infrastructural facilities for online education.
“Therefore, by this letter, I express my fear and request you to take immediate action on the Circular issued by the Directorate of Education thereby ensuring that the safety of the teaching fraternity and to take corrective measures to promote and implement e-schooling or Online schooling in the right manner with the basic infrastructure,” he stated.