No classes on Satur­days

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley from Phuentshol­ing

Stu­dents need not have to at­tend classes any­more on Satur­days from the aca­demic ses­sion next year.

This is ac­cord­ing to the de­ci­sion made dur­ing the 19th Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Con­fer­ence held in Phuentshol­ing last week.

The rec­om­men­da­tion to do away with classes on Satur­days was also raised ear­lier. How­ever, it will be im­ple­mented only from next year. Af­ter through re­search and con­sul­ta­tion, the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry has en­dorsed not to have classes and the week­end will be uti­lized in pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment of teach­ers and en­gage them in non-teach­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in schools.

Mean­while, the gov­ern­ment had also pledged do­ing away with classes on Satur­days dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign ear­lier this year.

Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Jai Bir Rai said waiv­ing off Satur­day classes would al­low teach­ers to de­velop as a pro­fes­sional and this will ul­ti­mately en­hance the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion.

This, ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter, does not mean that the teach­ers are kept off from their pro­fes­sional du­ties. “They get more into other ac­tiv­i­ties from which their pro­fes­sional skills will im­prove,” he added.

Mean­while, all the school heads are also ex­pected to come up with strate­gic plans on mea­sures to mean­ing­fully en­gage the stu­dents dur­ing the week­end though they won’t be at­tend­ing schools. It is hoped that do­ing away with classes dur­ing Satur­days would set those stu­dents, par­tic­u­larly day-schol­ars, free and idle.

“With­out proper al­ter­na­tives for them, it’s early to waive off the classes. There are chances that they may en­gage in other un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties,” a par­tic­i­pant said.

Till now, most of the schools were us­ing Satur­days to con­duct many of the co-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties apart from hav­ing two pe­ri­ods for nor­mal classes. Ac­tiv­i­ties like so­cial works, in­ter­house com­pe­ti­tions, and clean­ing works were done on Satur­days. How­ever, these ac­tiv­i­ties will now be ad­justed dur­ing the week­day as they will have ex­tended pe­ri­ods.

The ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter said the par­ents and school need to work col­lec­tively to mean­ing­fully en­gage the stu­dents dur­ing hol­i­days.

Ac­cord­ing to the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry, it was found that de­spite hav­ing no classes on Satur­days, still the re­quired in­struc­tional days are met. The min­istry re­quires a min­i­mum of 180 in­struc­tional days in a year. Still there will be 185 in­struc­tional days even if Satur­day classes are can­celled.

The min­istry, how­ever, will re­view the de­ci­sion and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion af­ter the im­ple­men­ta­tion. The im­pacts it bring to the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem will also be re­viewed af­ter three years.

Mean­while, some teach­ers say that call­ing off Satur­day classes would also en­able teach­ers to en­gage in other mean­ing­ful ac­tiv­i­ties whereby their pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment would be en­hanced. They say that the ac­tiv­i­ties can be ad­justed by cre­at­ing zero-pe­riod in a week where such ac­tiv­i­ties can be con­ducted.

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