Guwahati: After a lengthy closure owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, educational institutes in Sikkim are finally set to open for faculties and support staff from September 1 onwards; however, the students have not been asked to return.'
A circular from the Sikkim education department directs that "all school heads, teaching faculty, support staff and other employees of Government schools, colleges and educational institutions including ad-hoc teachers and ad-hoc Assistant Professors to attend duty from September 1."
The circular went viral on social media platforms, leading to much confusion among the parents as well as students, especially since it does not mention students attending schools and colleges.
The education department has later clarified the focus will now be shifted on 'homeschooling' with the faculty and support staff attending 'irrespective of whether the educational institutions re-open or not'.
"The schools and educational institutions will open only as per the directives of ministry of home affairs which the state government will scrupulously follow. Even if they don't open school heads, faculty, teachers, including those in ad-hoc services along with support staff must attend duty from September. They shall continue with the online and offline mode of learning and support the homeschooling initiative of the Education Department," read a set of guidelines issued by the education department signed by the director of elementary education Bhim Thatal, who also heads the Samagra Siksha Abhiyaan.'
Meanwhile, Sikkim's Education Department has made their appointments official from September 2020 to March 2021, with salary for ad-hoc staff to be released by the Department from September, stated the circular.
The circular also directs the staff to disseminate information on National Education Policy 2020 from September 5 to 25 September with the Panchayati Raj Institutions in preparation for the reopening of schools.
Thatal has asserted that the Sikkim Education Department has initiated the process of faculty and staffs to attend schools so that educational institutions can be well maintained. He has further opined that the collective strength of teachers in schools, even without the presence of students, can work on collective brainstorming to solve the issues and ensure learning for students amidst the pandemic. "They can even welcome a few students for offline learning from nearby villages," he said.