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Over 32 lakh students of classes 1 to 7 in Jharkhand to be ‘promoted’ sans exams

Like the previous academic session, more than 32 lakh government school students from class-1 to class-7 might be promoted to higher classes without any examination, as Covid pandemic triggered lockdowns badly hit the classroom activities, officials said in Ranchi on Monday.

Schools are closed since March last year. Even though Jharkhand government has permitted to restart the schools for class-8 and above from March 1, decision for reopening of schools from class-1 to class-7 is yet to be taken by the government.

In previous academic session (2019-2020), students of these classes had been promoted without any examination in wake of lockdown that had come into effect from March 22 in Jharkhand, two days before the announcement of national lockdown.

In a bid to make up the learning losses of students, state school education and literacy department is, however, planning for special classes for the students, who faced learning losses during Covid period.

Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) is drawing strategy to promote students and make up learning losses of students during the Covid year. The council is in touch with states like Chattisgarh, Bihar and others, who are working on similar kind of plan, officials said.

State Programme Officer (SPO) at JEPC, Abhinav Kumar, said, “A discussion in this regard is going on. However, no final decision has been taken yet.”

He said, “Schools have not reopened yet. So, conducting examinations in this situation is not possible. Therefore, instead of examination, a plan for baseline assessment of students is being discussed.”

The baseline assessment will help understand the learning standard of students during the Covid period and identify the students who faced major learning losses. “When schools would reopen, special classes for the students faced learning loss could be planned for the first two-three months. The basics and important topics of the previous classes would be taught to the students,” he said.

Jharkhand had allowed schools for class-10 and class-12 from December 21 last year in view of the upcoming board examinations, beginning from May this year.

On February 18, the state government has permitted schools to re-start classes for class-8, 9 and 11 from March 1 with certain Covid precautions. Students would be allowed in the schools with written consents from their parents.

However, parents’ body has demanded Covid vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff, bus drivers and helpers before reopening of the schools.

President of Jharkhand Parents’ Association (JPA), Ajay Rai, who is also the general secretary of Federation of Parents Association (FPA), said, “The way health workers and front line workers are being administered Covid vaccine, schools’ all teachers, staff, bus drivers and helpers should also be given vaccine. The issue is related to students’ safety, as cases are rising in few states again.”

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